The Obama administration needs to disclose Justice Elena Kagan's involvement in the review of health care reform legislation, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, argues in a Washington Post op-ed on Friday.
“If, as solicitor general, Kagan did advise administration officials on the constitutionality of the president’s health-care law, she should not officiate when the matter comes before the Supreme Court,” wrote Smith, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman.
E-mail records suggest that Kagan may have discussed the legislation with administration officials and that she supported the law personally, Smith said.
“To help clear up any confusion, I have written to the Justice Department and the White House to get additional documents and conduct staff interviews. Unfortunately, the administration’s refusal to cooperate with a legitimate congressional inquiry only heightens the public’s concern,” Smith wrote.
He dismissed calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the case because of his wife’s involvement with groups opposed to the health care law.
“Concerns about the job or personal views of a justice’s spouse are not the same as concerns that a justice may have been involved in a matter before it reached the high court,” Smith wrote.