The House Judiciary Committee has launched an inquiry into Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in the health care overhaul at the request of 49 Republican House members.
The probe will examine whether Kagan, who served as President Barack Obama’s solicitor general prior to her Supreme Court nomination, will be required to recuse herself for cases challenging the health care law, and the accuracy of her answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearings last July, CNS News reported.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, House Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith (R-Texas) requested “relevant documents and witness interviews in order to properly understand U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in health care legislation or litigation while serving as United States Solicitor General.” Smith requested they be made available by July 29.
Federal law bars Supreme Court justices from being involved in cases where their impartiality could be questioned or they previously served in an advisory capacity related to the case at hand.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) led 48 of his Republican colleagues in a letter to Smith and House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) on June 24, pointing to statements made during her hearings the House members called “contradictory” to released Justice Department documents and urging an investigation.
Kagan said in written responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had no involvement in developing the government’s legal responses to the health care law and was never asked her views or offered them, according to the Washington Times.
Fleming issued a statement Thursday applauding Smith’s request to Holder:
“I am confident that this investigation will uncover even more evidence that Justice Kagan was involved in Obamacare defense activities, contrary to her Senate confirmation testimony. How can any reasonable person believe that Justice Kagan can be impartial on ANY Obamacare case if she was involved in formulating a defense of this destructive law?