‘Self-Described Flunky’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): ‘It Is A Fact That A Presidential Nominee With A Political Job On A Resume Is Far From Unprecedented’


SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT): “Before sitting on the bench, you were a political operative involved in the most political and partisan controversies of our time.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “We do know that before you became a judge, you were faithfully advancing the Republican Party agenda. I jokingly said, in one of your previous appearances, that you're like the Forrest Gump of Republican politics; you always show up in the picture. Whether it's the Ken Starr investigation, Bush v. Gore or the Bush White House, you've been there.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)


Justice Elena Kagan Was ‘A Self-Described Flunky’ Who Did Opposition Research For Democrats And Was A Lawyer For The Clinton White House

FORMER SEN. TED KAUFMAN (D-DE), former chief of staff to Joe Biden on then-nominee Elena Kagan: “She’s a Democrat’s Democrat.” (“In Kagan, ‘A Democrat's Democrat,’” Politico, 5/11/2010)

“[Elena Kagan’s] start in politics came in 1988, when she volunteered to work on Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign. A self-described flunky, she worked in the research department, defending Dukakis from political attacks and conducting research on the opposition.” (“She's A White House Veteran,” Los Angeles Times, 5/11/2010)

  • “In the Clinton years, according to memos and those who worked in the office, Kagan was part of a nerve center that included domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed, then-Chief of Staff John Podesta and current Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. And she had a direct line to the president…. Kagan was a player, the consummate insider working within a nexus of law, politics and policy, comfortable in all three areas.” (“She's A White House Veteran,” Los Angeles Times, 5/11/2010)
  • “[S]he had already learned some of the ropes in Washington, having served briefly as a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the early 1990s. She worked for Sen. Joe Biden … and with Ron Klain, then a White House lawyer and Biden's current chief of staff.” (“She's A White House Veteran,” Los Angeles Times, 5/11/2010)

Sen. Schumer Defended Kagan’s Political Jobs: ‘Nothing About Her Previous Jobs Should Be Viewed As Undermining … Her Ability To Understand The Role Of Supreme Court Justice’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “[L]et me say one final word about General Kagan’s voluminous record as she worked as a lawyer for President Clinton and then as a policy adviser. All of a sudden, these are being held as strikes against her. Nothing about her previous jobs should be viewed as undermining … her ability to understand the role of Supreme Court justice. It is a fact that a Presidential nominee with a political job on a resume is far from unprecedented.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 6/28/2010)


Justice Stephen Breyer Was Once A Lawyer For Ted Kennedy

“Breyer continued his legal career as an Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. He then joined the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, first as Special Counsel in 1974 until 1975 and then as Chief Counsel from 1979 until 1980.” (“Stephen G. Breyer,” Oyez.org, Accessed 9/04/2018)

  • “[Sen. Ted] Kennedy [D-MA], for whom [Stephen Breyer] served as chief counsel in 1979-80, when Kennedy headed the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Breyer looks to the law's ‘impact on the lives of real people.’” (The Washington Post, 5/14/1994)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Senate Democrats, Judicial Nominations