The Clinton Library this afternoon released thousands of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s service on President Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council in the 1990s, including memos related to hot-button issues of abortion and gays serving in the military.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested more information given that Kagan, currently the solicitor general of the United States, has no judicial record. She was dean of the Harvard Law School until she took the current job in the Obama administration. Her confirmation hearings begin June 28.
The documents can be found here.
TPM will be looking through them, and would love readers’ help as well. If you see anything interesting, email us or drop a note in the comments below.
One nugget we found was an argument from outside groups for making birth control a commonplace item covered by insurance. Several groups were writing Kagan, then-chief of staff John Podesta and others about the issue. Her handwritten notes appear throughout the batch (found here), and at one point on a June 1998 note, she made a notation about the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Later in the batch of memos is a David Broder column on the issue. Then as you can see below, an exchange between Kagan and another staffer.
In another Kagan writes a handwritten note to a colleague that “supposedly the VP is interested” in the issue.
The memos are pretty comprehensive, and even include a hurricane safety comic book.
Judiciary Chairman Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) said in a statement the release of the records means the panel “has received more information from the administration than was made available at this point in the confirmation process for either the Roberts or Alito nominations.”
He said the administration is working to offer “an unprecedented volume of information relating to Elena Kagan’s work in the Clinton administration.” Read our Kagan coverage here.
Here’s the description from the Little Rock, Arkansas-based presidential library’s Web site:
Elena Kagan served in two positions during the Clinton Administration. She was Associate White House Counsel from 1995 - 1996 and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) from 1997-1999. The Clinton Presidential records being opened today are from Kagan’s time with the Domestic Policy Council and contains files created and received by Kagan. The files include records concerning domestic policy topics such as AIDS, budget appropriations, campaign finance reform, education, health, labor, race, tobacco, and welfare. The records include memoranda, correspondence, articles, and reports.
Please be aware that two boxes (69 and 70) of Elena Kagan’s material that were filed with her Domestic Policy Council records are not being released with this opening. The records in these boxes primarily concern her work as Associate Counsel to the President. As such, these two boxes will be released with her Counsel’s Office records.