Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spent the second morning of Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination hearing showcasing all the ways a person can call someone else a liar without actually saying the word. It was a tour de force in Washington-speak, but it also showed Sessions’ — the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee — Wilsonian plan of attack when it comes to Kagan: she lies.
Sessions’ claims center around Kagan’s time as Dean of Harvard law school and the access military recruiters had on campus during part of her time there. Republicans allege that Kagan denied those recruiters any access to the law school campus or her students. Kagan has said — and said again today — that she was balancing Harvard’s strict anti-discrimination policy and the law regarding recruiting access as it was understood at the time.
Session’s response, essentially? You’re a liar.
“I guess what I’m saying is the overall picture that she portrayed of the situation seems to me to be disconnected to the reality of it,” Sessions told reporters during a break in the hearings this morning. “I believe a Supreme Court justice has got to show clarity of mind, the ability to rigorously analyze complex situations and state them clearly and accurately with intellectual honesty.”
“I feel like that she was not rigorously accurate in describing the whole nature of this circumstance,” added. “And so I’m disappointed in it.”
So, a reporter asked Sessions, does that mean Kagan’s lying?
“I’d just leave it as what I said,” Sessions said.
Shortly thereafter, Sessions was on CNN again all but calling Kagan a liar. “I begin to worry — it worried me whether she had the intellectual honesty, the clarity of mind that you would expect on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Sessions told the network.
This time, Sessions was asked if he “trusts” Kagan. “Maybe her gifts are accommodation or political,” Sessions said. “She’s bright, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t think she’s a person that’s dishonest fundamentally, but I just think that you expect a lot out of a person who sits at the highest court in our land.”
So maybe she’s not a liar, Sessions says, but she’s certainly not honest enough for the Supreme Court.