POLITICS

Emails show Kagan excited about Obamacare passage

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

At her confirmation hearing in 2010, now-Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan that she "was not" asked at any time to give her opinion on the merits of the Obamacare legislaton. Newly released emails suggest that whether or not she was asked, Kagan was not shy about her enthusiasm for the bill that eventually became law.

Kagan, while serving as President Obama's Solicitor General, exchanged emails with her then-colleagues in the Justice Department indicating her support for the Obamacare legislation when it was under consideration in Congress.

"I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing," Kagan wrote, in an email obtained by Judicial Watch, on the day Obamacare passed through Congress. Larry Tribe, a Harvard Law professor and Supreme Court attorney who served as "senior counselor for access to justice" in the Department of Justice (DOJ), replied to Kagan that the bill's passage was "remarkable." 

"And with the Stupak group accepting the magic of what amounts to a signing statement on steroids!" Tribe added in delight, and in derision for the pro-life Democrats.

As far back as October 2009, the day-to-day developments regarding the bill popped up in the course of Kagan's work at DOJ. For instance, then-Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal interjected, into an otherwise unrelated email thread, the news that "We just got Snowe on health care," -- referring to the support for Obamacare promised by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

On the day that Obamacare passed, Katyal reportedly forwarded Kagan an email about a meeting with "the health care policy team tomorrow at 4 to help us prepare for litigation" that he recommended she attend. Kagan didn't respond to that email in writing, but instead asked for his phone number so that she could call him.

Forty-nine members of the U.S. House have called for Kagan to recuse herself from the Obamacare hearing. No mention of her involvement or recusal was made in the Court's announcement that it will take the case.

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