'This Week' Transcript: Leahy and Sessions

GREENWALD: I think she absolutely should, and she herself said that that ought to be the obligation of anyone who wants to acquire the rather extraordinary power of being on the Supreme Court for the next 30 to 40 years. And the really troublesome aspect is that this is really a nominee about whom shockingly little is known. I mean, we know less about Elena Kagan's beliefs and views than any successful Supreme Court in recent -- Supreme Court nominee in recent memory. And the reason is that she's advanced her career ambitions by essentially avoiding taking any positions on most of the great political and legal questions of the day. As the New York Times said, she spent decades hiding her beliefs and her philosophy from public view.

And I think that before you put somebody on the court and vest them with the extraordinary power that she would have if she's confirmed, the American people, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, ought to demand that she divulge what her beliefs and opinions about these great constitutional and legal questions are.

TAPPER: Greg, you look like you wanted to say--

CRAIG: That's totally -- she's lived a career that's really extraordinary, that's been available for all people to watch and to admire. She's a real trailblazer. She was the first woman dean of the Harvard Law School, the first woman solicitor general. She has performed this career in all three branches of the government. And so, she has got experience and qualifications that are beyond reproach. I mean, I cannot imagine a more qualified nominee in my lifetime than Elena Kagan.

TAPPER: Ed, You're laughing. But I want to say you shepherded one successful nominee, John Roberts. And you were also there for Harriet Miers, not so successful.

GILLESPIE: Right.

TAPPER: She was also from outside the judiciary.

GILLESPIE: That's correct.

TAPPER: Faced a barrage of criticism, although she's no former Harvard Law School dean. What similarities do you see with Elena Kagan and either Roberts or Harriet Miers?

GILLESPIE: Well, Harriet Miers had a record of litigating. And so we saw her, you know, representing clients. And one of the things I think that we don't know about Elena Kagan is does she have capacity to set aside her personal views and impartially apply the law or represent the law? We have never seen her represent someone, for example, in the way we saw Chief Justice Roberts during his time as a trial lawyer, represent people who may not and cases that may not jive with his own personal views, so we know he was able to put the law and the rights ahead of that.

We have not seen that with Elena Kagan. And the fact is, she's -- it's pretty thin gruel, in Reagan terms.

(CROSSTALK)

GILLESPIE: For, what, a year? And she was accredited for the Supreme Court for that job, hadn't been there (ph) before that.

CRAIG: That's the number one litigating position in the United States of America. She's litigating--

GILLESPIE: And (inaudible) she's the most qualified Supreme Court nominee in your lifetime?

CRAIG: Well, certainly.

GILLESPIE: OK. Here's the fact is, I think she's going to have to face a lot of questions because she's been in largely political and policy advocacy roles, not really judicial roles.

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