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McCain is latest GOPer to say no on Kagan


In a USA Today op-ed that will run tomorrow, Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) says he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Last week, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) said he was opposing Kagan's nomination.

McCain's primary beef: Kagan's policy toward military recruiters when she was dean of Harvard Law School. "While Kagan is entitled to her opinion, she was not entitled to ignore the law that requires universities to allow military recruiters on campus under terms of equal access with all other recruiters."

In fact, Kagan instructed Harvard Law’s Office of Career Services to stop helping military recruiters only after the 3rd Circuit ruled that the Solomon Amendment -- the law McCain is referring to -- was unconstitutional. Kagan and Harvard reversed course after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 3rd Circuit's ruling.

McCain's opposition to Kagan isn't surprising -- especially given the competitive GOP primary he's facing in August. McCain also opposed President Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.

Yet the Arizona senator voted for Bill Clinton's two Supreme Court picks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

In a speech during the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain justified his votes for Ginsburg and Breyer.

"Why?" he said. "For the simple reason that the nominees were qualified, and it would have been petty, and partisan, and disingenuous to insist otherwise. Those nominees represented the considered judgment of the president of the United States. And under our Constitution, it is the president's call to make."

*** UPDATE *** McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan emails us this reminder: that McCain also opposed Kagan's nomination for U.S. solicitor general.