Then-Solicitor General Kagan on Health Care Bill Wrote ‘I hear they have the votes!! Simply amazing’

Nov 16, 2011 11:32am

She’s now a Supreme Court Justice who will hear arguments in March about the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature legislation, the health care law.

But in 2009 and 2010, Justice Elena Kagan was President Obama’s solicitor general. And in emails from that time that were recently obtained by conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch,  Kagan is clearly pleased with the passage of the bill.

Most notably, in a March 21, 2010 email to then-Senior Counselor for Access to Justice Laurence Tribe, Kagan writes, “I hear they have the votes Larry!! Simply amazing…”

Kagan is seen keeping close tabs on the legislation. In another exchange, deputy solicitor general Neal Katyal informs Kagan that “We just got Snowe on health care,” a reference to Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

She emails with David Barron, then-acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, about a Wall Street Journal op-ed discussing legislative strategy on “deeming” the health care bill into law.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton writes that “These new emails are bound to raise additional questions about whether Justice Kagan ought to participate in High Court deliberations on Obamacare. Certainly, if these documents were known at the time of her confirmation, there may have been quite a different senate debate. The Obama Justice Department dumped these documents just before a holiday weekend, hoping they would go unnoticed. This slow-walking of documents out of the Obama Justice Department is scandalous and makes one wonder what other information they are sitting on.”

White House officials had no comment.

-Jake Tapper

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