The House Judiciary Committee has the oversight of all federal courts and the Justice Department, which includes US Attorney General Eric Holder. The HJC has repeatedly requested Kagan related material since this last summer, but Holder has not complied with any of the requests.
The HJC is trying to determine whether or not Kagan must recuse herself from the upcoming SCOTUS hearing of Obamacare. Federal law (28 USC § 455) covering the disqualification of justice, judge or magistrate judge states:
“(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States
shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
(b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following
(1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a
party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts
concerning the proceeding;
(3) Where he has 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;”
Justice Kagan has been asked if she planned to recuse herself, but to date has refused to do so.
HJC chairman Rep Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, wrote a letter to AG Holder on July 6 in which he asked:
“During her Senate confirmation, then-Solicitor General Kagan answered ‘no’ when questioned about whether she had ever been ‘asked about [her] opinion’ or ‘offered any views or comments regarding the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to any proposed health care legislation … or … litigation resulting from such legislation. Yet, documents released by the Department in response to Freedom of Information Act requests raise questions about that unequivocal denial.”
Last week, US Attorney General Eric Holder was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in the healthcare bill when she served at the US Solicitor General.
The position of Solicitor General was established in 1870 so as to free up the duties of the US Attorney General. The role of the SG is to defend or represent the US government in cases that are heard by the US Supreme Court. Elena Kagan was appointed to the position of Solicitor General in March 2009 by President Obama and held that position until her appointed to the high court in May of 2010.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has also repeatedly requested documents and information concerning Kagan’s role as SG and how that may have played in the implementation of Obama’s health care legislation. Additionally, there are questions as to Kagan’s role as SG that may have had a direct bearing on two aspects of a federal law which defines when it is necessary for when a Supreme Court justice is required to recuse themselves from a case.
After Holder’s testimony before Congress, a letter was sent to Holder that was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), and Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah), who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Parts of the letter read:
“Unfortunately, your Department has rejected all Congressional oversight requests for information about her role in the Obama Administration’s defense of this law.”
“You recently told the Senate, incredibly, that you were not even aware of Congressional requests on this topic, and that your Department handled her duties as relates to such matters in a way that is belied by the facts, namely that you physically removed her from all meetings discussing litigation.”
Yet there are witnesses that state that Kagan was present and not physically removed on more than one occasion where the health care legislation was discussed.
In typical fascist government style, Holder lies, disregards the law to protect Obama’s inner circle of comrades. This inner circle believes they are above the law and immune to any punitive action that may be due them for their crimes.
However, it seems that no matter who requests the necessary information concerning the matters, AG Holder repeatedly refuses to comply and release the information. In congressional procedures, this could be interpreted as a charge of contempt of Congress. Unfortunately, the punishment for a contempt of Congress charge is 1-12 months in jail and/or $100-$1000 fine. Yet several months in jail may be just what Holder needs (plus a number of years). One thing is certain and that is the HJC needs to take whatever legal action is necessary to remove Holder from his office.