by Jack Minor –
An organization committed to restoring the judiciary to its constitutional role has called on Elena Kagan to recuse herself from deciding a case involving Obamacare when it reaches the Supreme Court next year.
Since its passage, the Health Care Reform Act has been in and out of courtrooms. Conflicting rulings on the law’s constitutionality made it a prime candidate for Supreme Court review.
Earlier this week, the court announced it would hear the case next year.
Following the announcement, Curt Levey, head of the Committee for Justice, issued a request asking Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the case.
Levey said that the organization takes Kagan at her word that she ceased being involved in defending Obamacare after she was nominated to the court, but that doesn’t change the fact that she did so prior to the nomination.
The law requires judges to recuse themselves in any case where they have “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”
Documents obtained under the freedom of information act reveal that Kagan had been involved in the defense of Obamacare for several months prior to her nomination. The involvement consisted of making key staffing decisions and participating in the deliberative process regarding defense strategies.
During her confirmation hearings, Kagan said she was present at “at least one” meeting involving challenges to Obamacare. The House Judiciary Committee has asked the Justice Department for additional documents regarding Kagan’s involvement in legal discussions about the law. The DOJ has thus far refused to turn over the documents.
Liberal groups have also asked Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the case. The reason being that Thomas’s wife has stated she was opposed to the health care law and had done work for the Heritage Foundation.
Tags: case, Committee, Court, Curt, Curt Levey, DOJ, Elena Kagan, Health Care Reform Act, house judiciary committee, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Elena Kagan, law, Obamacare, opinion, organization, process, Supreme, Supreme Court, Thomas, year