Republicans may not have the numbers to prevent Elena Kagan from ascending to the Supreme Court, but on the day of her nomination pundit Rush Limbaugh laid out what will likely become the conservative talking points in the lead-up to her confirmation, calling the nominee a "pure academic idealist radical."
Kagan, who President Obama today described as a "friend," is considered a centrist consensus-builder who hired conservative scholars while dean of Harvard Law School. She supports a strong executive branch and has said that terrorists captured overseas may not be subject to U.S. rules of due process and can be held indefinitely.
Suggestions that Kagan, who served in the Clinton administration and was nominated solicitor general by President Obama, could move the court to the right were dismissed by Limbaugh as a diversion by the administration to trick conservatives.
"If the regime really thought she was open minded, really thought she was sympathetic to conservatives and their point of… they never would have let her be nominated," Limbaugh said today during his daily talk show.
"It's all a crock. If they had the slightest doubt of her far-left credentials she would never have been nominated," he said.
If confirmed, Kagan would be the only sitting justice to have never served as a judge. As a result she does not have a body of written judicial decisions -- a so-called "paper trail" -- which typically gives Senators material, and sometimes ammunition, with which to question nominees.
"We don't know anything about her …This woman is worse than Harriet Myers… Intellectually she's a lightweight," Limbaugh said referring to the George W. Bush nominee who pulled her name from consideration when Republicans and Democrats alike objected to her lack of credentials.
Kagan, Limbaugh said, was not qualified but instead "animated by prejudices and biases."
He called Kagan, 50, an "Obama clone" who would be given the job to "court deals with the 'despised and downtrodden,'" a term coined by Kagan's mentor and one-time boss the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Citing her middle-class upbringing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and a life spent in academia, Limbaugh called her a "liberal elite" who has "no clue how real Americans live."
If she is confirmed the court would be composed of six Catholics and three Jews, making it the first time in history no Protestants have sat on the court.
That composition, Limbaugh said, would not reflect the American populace.
To be confirmed Kagan needs 60 votes. Democrats and Independents will likely give her 58 of the necessary votes, which means two Republicans must break ranks and support her confirmation. When nominated to become solicitor general, six Republicans supported her confirmation.