ByÂ Jerry Seper-The Washington Times
The chairman of the HouseÂ Judiciary Committee has asked theÂ Justice Department to turn over more specific information onÂ Supreme CourtJustice Elena Kaganâ€™s role in crafting a legal defense of President Obamaâ€™s health care law when she served as the administrationâ€™s solicitor general.
In a letter to Attorney GeneralÂ Eric H. Holder Jr.,Â Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, called on theÂ department to deliver by July 29 all documents referring to meetings, conversations, pending litigation or suggested recusals then-Solicitor GeneralÂ Kagan had regarding the health care law.
â€œIn recent weeks, questions have been raised about whetherÂ Justice Kaganâ€™s prior work on what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) while serving as solicitor general should disqualify her from hearing challenges to its constitutionality,â€Â Mr. Smithwrote.
Mr. Smith said that during herÂ Senate confirmation,Â Ms. Kagan denied she had ever been â€œasked about her opinionâ€ or â€œoffered any views or commentsâ€ regarding the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to any proposed health care legislation. But, he said, documents released by theÂ Justice Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request â€œraise questions about that unequivocal denial.â€
AÂ Supreme Court challenge to Mr. Obamaâ€™s health care law is considered a near certainty in the coming months.
Last month, 49 Republican lawmakers asked the Judiciary panel to â€œpromptly investigateâ€Â Justice Kaganâ€™s role in defending the legality of the health care law, contending that newÂ Justice Department documents showed she â€œactively participated with her Obama administration colleagues in formulating a defenseâ€ for the law.
The lawmakers, including 10 doctors, said the documents raised â€œserious questionsâ€ aboutÂ Justice Kaganâ€™s ability to â€œexercise objectivityâ€ in any case involving the PPACA that comes before theÂ Supreme Court.
One of those doctors,Â Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana Republican, said he was â€œconfident that this investigation will uncover even more evidence thatÂ Justice Kagan was involved in Obamacare defense activities, contrary to herÂ Senate confirmation testimony.â€
â€œHow can any reasonable person believe thatÂ Justice Kagan can be impartial on any Obamacare case if she was involved in formulating a defense of this destructive law?â€ he said.
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