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Monday status conference: The Kagan papers

As lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess today, members of the Senate Judiciary will continue to probe the record of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, armed with documents released Friday from the Clinton library.

And those papers, the first batch of documents (about 46,000 of more than 160,000 pages identified by the library) related to her work in the Clinton administration, reveal Kagan’s legal and policy positions on issues ranging “from agriculture to Viagra,” as the Washington Post puts it.

Kagan is almost sure to get questions from senators about her role in advising President Clinton to veto a measure to ban late-term abortions. Documents show that Kagan played a role in helping Clinton “articulate his support for a narrow health exception to the late-term abortion ban,” according to the Associated Press.

When the administration considered sending Congress a bill that would make assisted suicide a federal crime, Kagan called it “a fairly terrible idea,” according to the New York Times‘ blog The Caucus.

She also called an administration argument urging the Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action policies “exactly the right position” both leally and politically, according to the AP.

The newly-released documents have already caught the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican. “Kagan’s memos unambiguously express a leftist philosophy and an approach to the law that seems more concerned with achieving a desired social result than fairly following the Constitution,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, according to a Reuters account.

Kagan’s confirmation hearing is set to begin June 28.

Meanwhile, this morning the U.S. Supreme Court will release opinions and orders. Cases yet to be decided from this term include the Chicago-based Second Amendment challenge in McDonald v. City of Chicago, and the employment privacy “sexting” case City of Ontario v. Quon. We’ll update newsworthy developments here on the blog.

In other news:

June Boon: Despite front-loading its calendar this term, as it has in recent years, the Supreme Court still faces a June crunch, with many cases yet to be decided even though the term unofficially ends a the end of the month. (USA Today)

I could write a book…Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he’s written a memoir, but he’s having trouble finding a publisher. Also, his legal bills relating to the ongoing investigation into  him role in the firings of several U.S. attorneys are mounting, he said. (WSJ’s Law Blog)

You can go home again: Justice Sonia Sotomayor became emotional as she spoke at a ceremony renaming the Bronx housing development where she spent part of her childhood in her honor. (AP)

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