July 6, 2010

William Saletan slams Elena Kagan.

"All of us should be embarrassed that a sentence written by a White House aide now stands enshrined in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, erroneously credited with scientific authorship and rigor. Kagan should be most chastened of all. She fooled the nation's highest judges. As one of them, she had better make sure they aren't fooled again."

***

I'm not to pleased with the idea of relying on someone who distorted science to detect, for our benefit, the distortions of others. What we have is someone who put a political agenda ahead of science. We all need to heighten our skepticism about the way politicians and lawyers use our embrace of the authority of science to scam us.

94 comments:

tachyonshuggy said...

Thank God we've gotten past that whole "politicization of science" thing that was such a problem from 2000-2008. Now that the smart people are in charge only the best and most rational policies are enacted.

Anne said...

How is this any different than the bad science used to justify global warming. The lefties are very fond of their "science", but what they don't tell us is as important as what they do tell us. They are so sure they are doing what is best for everyone that they hide the real truth. In their world truth = science. Only if their science can be spun to their agenda, otherwise it is just propaganda.

Big Mike said...

I never was fooled. Skepticism is the hallmark of a well-trained scientist, and appeals to "consensus" are the certain mark of junk science in action.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"It wasn't lies, it was... bullshit." -- Elwood Blues

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GMay said...

Random comments still seem to be eaten and comment count display is way off.

Joan said...

How is this any different than the bad science used to justify global warming.

To my knowledge, the Supreme Court hasn't made a contentious ruling resulting in the deaths of millions of unborn children based on a lie misrepresenting climate scientists' actual views. There's a big difference.

Kagan should withdraw her nomination on the basis of this incident alone. I heard the audio of the q&a, where she wiggled as hard as she could, trying to deny that she wrote the memo without committing perjury. "It's certainly in my handwriting," indeed.

Metamorf said...

We all need to be heighten our skepticism about the way politicians and lawyers use our embrace of the authority of science to scam us.

Agree with both Ann and Anne. I'd modify the sentence above, though, to "We all need to be heighten our skepticism about ... our embrace of the authority of science", period. Scientists have become a kind of modern priesthood for too many, despite the fact that they too are human and are as susceptible to the temptations not just of money or career, but also of quasi-religious fads and cults.

Trooper York said...

The administration has just started implementing their comment control software. Soon you will only be able to read Alpha, FLS, and hdhouse.

"IT'S PEOPLE!!!SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Pastafarian said...

I commented on this last week, but everyone on the thread just wanted to discuss blackberries:

Did you catch this exchange between Sen. Hatch and Kagan? It's about the memo she wrote while part of the Clinton administration, in which she altered the findings of a commission of medical experts on the necessity of partial birth abortion:

“Did you write that memo?” Hatch asked.

“Senator, with respect,” Kagan began, “I don’t think that that’s what happened — ”

“Did you write that memo?”

“I’m sorry — the memo which is?”

“The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”

“Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — ”

“But did you write it?”

“The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

If that level of Clintonesque obfuscation isn’t enough to disqualify this lying weasel of a woman, then I don’t know what would.

rollingdivision said...

Science be damned, lie if you must, the ends justify the means. There is no principle which will stop us. Principles are our tools to use against our political opponents; we get what we want.

traditionalguy said...

The super empowerment that has been given in American society is a carte blanche to any Scientific Expert's opinion is a loophole begging to be filled by Fraudsters and Sting Artists. The only power greater than a Scientist's Expert Opinion is another Scientist's expert opinion. The second that censorship of the internet begins is the second that the Carte Blanche always given to Scientific Experts starts to enslave us. The trial lawyers first saw this potential and responded by creating out of whole cloth New Sciences with all the trappings of a real science with University Chairs and Textbooks and Treatises, but all of them were based upon faked measurements of tests. That is what got John Edwards his fortune. That got Al Gore his too.Today's new sciences can easily be an extortion tool used by Government crime families that censor actual scientists.

Saint Croix said...

It reminds me of Roe v. Wade itself. Pages and pages citing the political position of the AMA, the ABA, and the AMHA. Don't bother voting, you mechanics. We're going to subvert democracy on this one and ask the doctors and lawyers what they think.

My new pro-life blog is up here

EDH said...

Why isn't this considered a fraud on the court under MRPC Rule 3, etc.?

wv - "clunt" = whew, that's a little harsh.

MadisonMan said...

I think a better question is: Why did the justices believe it? Why are Judges so ignorant about science?

Always revert to the original source. Imagine the effect if the SC Justices had asked to see the original source, and compared it to the brief.

A.W. said...

i have really come to think that kagan is a dim bulb.

And as such i have shifted to opposing her nomination.

as for the theory that a crook is the best detector of crooks. um, well, look it did work in catch me if you can, but its not like as if the guy went from crook to head of the FBI. he went from crook to low level guy.

So kagan as a crook to sniff out other crookedness is all fine and good if we were talking about a nomination to the district court...

El Pollo Real said...

Miracle.Mystery.Authority


wv = "cationist"

Chase said...

Liberals twist facts to support whatever they want.

And this is news?

Please. A bit of the everyday in the liberal world. Honesty is always a flexible virtue in the service of a greater cause. Why do YOU think leftists adore Socialist Leaders and Dictators?

Seriously - does anyone believe in the basic decency and honesty of liberals and left-wingers?

Anyone?

Big Mike said...

Pastafarian schools Saletan.

And Chase is right, too. Though I have noticed that Republican politicians are not above doing the same. The difference really is the mainstream media, which exposes Republican politicians when they resort to junk science, but can't be bothered even to consult wikipedia whenever a Democrat uses junk science.

Methadras said...

What? You mean leftards are the only ones allowed to use science?

HDHouse said...

I'll go through my notes on the Terri Scheivo stuff and if time, some of the unsettle science on evolution...perhaps that can put Kagan's notes in some sort of reality familiar too many here...perhaps not Ann who is still finding a way to strike out at global warming......how retro!

HDHouse said...

Trooper York said...
The administration has just started implementing their comment control software. Soon you will only be able to read Alpha, FLS, and hdhouse...."

See TY...truth wins out and those of virtue go to the promised land....not Alaska however ya'betcha!

Independent George said...

But wasn't it her job to put politics ahead of science? I think this reflects badly on ACOG, but not necessarily Kagan.

Michael said...

HD: So you are fine w/ the nominee altering a scientific report to fit a political viewpoint?

HDHouse said...

Michael said...
HD: So you are fine w/ the nominee altering a scientific report to fit a political viewpoint?"

An inconsequential addition and emphasis to argue in court or do you mean altering science to present to acientists who would base further science on the findings thus misleading everyone.

The article is correct as is Ann's comment, the addition was for emphasis and did NOT contain any suggestion of wierd or pseudo science.

You can beat this to death if you want but I'll just go through my notes on Terri Scheivo and evolution being unsettled science...ya'betcha.

garage mahal said...

Never trust scientists, or their reports. I learnt that here!

Brian said...

The point is not that conservatives mangle science for political purposes, HD. Right-thinking (oh, excuse, me, left-thinking) people can relegate conservatives to the ashbin of history based on their denial of science, or misuse of science for political gain.

The point is, that William Saletan is blasting Elena Kagan for doing this. We are supposed to expect better of Obama's picks.

Trooper York said...

hd you don't understand what your favorite public servant is serving up to us.

IT'S A COOKBOOK!!!!!

Hombre said...

Michael: HD: So you are fine w/ the nominee altering a scientific report to fit a political viewpoint?

Why would you think otherwise? Have you ever seen HD not "fine" with anything that furthers the cause[s]?

Michael said...

HD: I meant, are you fine with the nominee altering a scientific report to fit a political viewpoint? You clearly are fine with that but have difficulty in saying so directly.

damikesc said...

HD, it has been said that if you don't have facts on your side, try to change the subject. You're doing well.

HD is in favor of candidates lying uner oath during confirmation hearings and manipulating data.

Good to have it clarified.

HDHouse said...

@TY....wasn't that first a Bradbury yarn about "the first rule" or something?

as to the rest of you louts trying to make a loaf of bread out of a grain of wheat...I'm beginning to think that the republican party and those sitting far to the right side of it really have the threshold of a light switch...not a dimmer..although that would be named more appropos.

HDHouse said...

@damikesc...

i'm sure there are a few on this board who think she is also a terrorist and Himmler's long lost grand daughter but alas....not the case.

AJ Lynch said...

With diehard doctrinaire liberals the ends justify the means. I am sure her Manhattan and Cambridge friends congratulated her for being so clever [or devious as her subterfuge would be judged in flyover country].

You know, this incident also shines a light on the enormous power & influence these non-profits and NGO's possess. Always writing OPED's for the leading papers and testifying before Congressional committees. I wish just once a committee would call someone like DBQ to testify about what they are doing to the economy. They don't have the balls to do that.

AJ Lynch said...

I think it would be impractical for the court to be suspect of the accuracy of every scientific body's reports by asking to review source files and case files [unless it was from Al Gore & his minions of course].

Trooper York said...

Why are any of your surprised that the Kagan is a lying sack of shit?

She would almost have to be one to be appointed by this President. She is one of his peeps. She learned deceit and trickeration at the Bosom of Slick Willie as this debacle so aptly demonstrates. She is the quintessential Obamanite.

Elections have consequences. He is entitled to have this unqualified, untrustworthy mediocrity as his selection after all as long as he can ram it through on a straight party line vote. The Democrats don’t have the integrity to hold his feet to the fire for his abysmal continuing debacle in Louisiana. What makes you think they would grow a pair now?

Just vote no and let her in on a straight party line vote.

“RELEASE THE KAGAN!!!!!!!”

damikesc said...

Can you name anybody who thinks she is related to Himmler?

I can buy some don't think she's particular honest or forthcomiing...but I never noticed the "she's related to Nazis" comments.

Same with her being a terrorist.i I can see people calling her a bad Solicitor...but terrorist?

Provide your proof.

Thanx.

HDHouse said...

@Trooper York...

Yummy.

HDHouse said...

@damikesc...

I know reading is a big thing in SC but for gosh sakes...don't you get it?

damikesc said...

That you're incapable of honesty?

Yeah, got it. Loud and clear.

I don't find slandering people needlessly to be amusing, but hey, whatever it takes to get you through the day.

Given your known lack of anything resembling a sense of humor, you clearly are serious.

virgil xenophon said...

And of course our darling SCOTUS nominee is the one who put Obama's academic record at Harvard under lock & key....just sayin..

Michael said...

damikesc: The fact that HD keeps "notes" on Terry Scheivo is indicative of his concern for his own deteriorating mental health and his search for markers to measure the time he has left as a sentient creature. It is quite something to watch isn't it?

Michael said...

Virgil X: Are you telling me that a man who has written two, (2), autobiographies before his 50th birthday has his grades under lock and key? I wouldn't have thought modesty was one of his character traits.

damikesc said...

Gotta wonder where HD sees the humor in Terri's situation. I mean, her story is really rather tragic.

former law student said...

To sum up: Kagan edited an ACOG draft document for clarity, and ACOG approved her wording. I'm not surprised they approved Kagan's wording, because gynecologists are not half the wordsmiths that good lawyers are.

And the moral being drawn here is that gynecologists are liars?

Michael said...

FLS: Your "summation" is not accurate. Your moral is wrong.

damikesc said...

Did Kagan not attempt to deny authorship? The transcripts I've read clearly shows her weaseling away from it.

Parsing words to near-meaningless in confirmation hearings for lifetime jobs should be disqualifying.

amba said...

Reading Saletan's article, it seems to me quite simply that Kagan flat-out lied.

A.W. said...

So let's see here... Salazar massages his reports to support a 6 month moritorium on drilling.

Kagan massages this report to oppose a ban on partial birth infanticide.

Al Gore tries to get a massage with a happy ending, and also massages data to support fears of global warming and to push command and control of pretty much everything we do.

But republicans are politicizing science because they don't like funding the killing of fetuses. am i about right, here?

Trooper York said...

Although not the perfect embodiment of the ethos of Barack Obama like his soulmate Lynn Stewart, the Kagan is close enough to give us a long lasting reminder of just what we get when we pick someone like the wonderful Big O because we see something in him that doesn't exist.

Elections have consequences. Let's drive that point home. Vote her on to the Court in a straight party line vote. You have the votes guys. Do it.

"RELEASE THE KAGAN!!!!!"

former law student said...

Michael said...
FLS: Your "summation" is not accurate. Your moral is wrong.


Do people read the linked articles before posting?

I said: "To sum up: Kagan edited an ACOG draft document for clarity, and ACOG approved her wording."

Saletan said: The real culprit was ACOG, which adopted Kagan's spin without acknowledgment.

Saletan used the term "Kagan's spin" where I used, (changing a verb to a noun), "Kagan's edit," but, as someone trying to discredit Kagan, he would have to use the pejorative "spin," wouldn't he? So my summary was quite accurate.

Next point.

I said: "And the moral being drawn here is that gynecologists are liars?"

Saletan said: But the larger problem is the credence subsequently given to ACOG's statement by courts, including the Supreme Court. Judges have put too much faith in statements from scientific organizations.

Saletan generalized ACOG -- a group of gynecologists -- into a "scientific organization" whose statements deserve less faith from judges -- because they're lies, is the only reason that I can see.

Saletan paraphrased: Place not your faith in gynecologists, your honor, because they promulgate bullshit.

Chase said...

HD,

perhaps you can enlighten us about your comparison of Terry Schiavo to the restating of factual data that Kagan did about partial birth abortion.

Failing to see an equivalence in either fact or effect here.

?????

Trooper York said...

"And the moral being drawn here is that gynecologists are liars?"

Not liars exactly. More like cynical opportunists. After all everyone they meet are really just a bunch of twats.

So to speak.

former law student said...

amba said...
Reading Saletan's article, it seems to me quite simply that Kagan flat-out lied.


Because Saletan knows how to spin a set of facts to make the wholly unexceptionable seem reprehensible. Spin, spin, spin.

Trooper York said...

Hey liars need to be represented on the Court! They are entitled to have the ethos of this administration enshrined on the Court in a party line vote just like anyone else!

Roman Hruskra lives!!!!!!!!


"RELEASE THE KAGAN!!!!!"

MadisonMan said...

Never trust scientists, or their reports.

Trust what you read in a journal. Don't trust a summary written by someone else.

damikesc said...

MM's advice is far more apropos. Most reports don't approach what the blaring headlines claim...and those that do are so laden with BS you can ignore them.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

HDHouse said...

i'm sure there are a few on this board who think she is also a terrorist and Himmler's long lost grand daughter but alas....not the case.

Cite please. Or are you just making up the 'fact' that she's not Himmler's long lost granddaughter?

Freeman Hunt said...

That case needs to be revisited. It's important.

Kansas City said...

Ann is correct on the abuse of the authority of science.

But she is sadly mistaken in thinking that Kagan as a justice will be attempting " to detect, for our benefit, the distortions of others." On the most significant cases, she will not care about "distortions" unless they are contrary to the liberal position that she intends to rule in the case.

My guess is that Kagan is very proud of having successfully fooled the courts with her writing of the doctor report language in the partial birth abortion cases. She accomplished exactly what she was hoping for - creating a medical opinion that would uphold partial birth abortion.

I was deeply involved in some surpreme court cases some years ago and was astonished at how little concern was shown by the Court or Washington lawyers for the actual evidence in the case. It was almost all policy concerns.

Michael said...

FLS: Apparently you did not read the article before posting an inaccurate summary. I can think of no other explanation. For clarity's sake.

AC245 said...

Chase said:
Liberals twist facts to support whatever they want.

And this is news?

Please. A bit of the everyday in the liberal world. Honesty is always a flexible virtue in the service of a greater cause.


After which HDHouse, GasRage, and FLS charged into the thread, bound and determined to prove his observation correct.

Freeman Hunt said...

Apart from politics: I would not want to have that lie to answer for after death. (That's not a snark.) I assume Kagan's religious beliefs differ.

Alex said...

Guys - she's going to be confirmed. Anything short of she committed an axe murder, and even then...

amba said...

OT: VW: goreo

Feminist on the outside, sex-crazed poodle on the inside?

OR:

High-minded feminist on the outside, bloody-minded butcher on the inside?

amba said...

Maybe not OT, after all

Ralph L said...

No one Obama would nominate would be more conservative, and now she's shown to be untrustworthy before the other justices and the public that is paying attention. IMO this is the best outcome short of an empty seat for 2.5 years.

wv - cabood - generic ethnic name, such as Guido, for ME taxi driver

former law student said...

I see I will have to walk everyone through the logic here, which will be difficult in the absence of Venn diagrams. I note that Saletan told one fib:

The third document is a set of undated notes in Kagan's handwriting, offering "suggested options" for editing the ACOG statement.

Saletan's quoted sources do not make this claim -- the CSNews article is careful not to say the notes are in Kagan's handwriting.

Freeman Hunt said...

Evil little by little. We always wonder how all these terrible things happened in the past. We can't imagine people making the decisions that will lead to great evil. But they do. All the time. It's just little by little.

Freeman Hunt said...

And I do think it should go without saying that anyone willing to lie to further partial birth abortion (!!! why? !!!) is not fit for high office.

former law student said...

OK, let us start with the goals of each side.

Bill Clinton wanted to carve out an exception for the health of the mother in the ban on post-viability "partial birth abortions."

Conservatives want women to suffer rather than have such an abortion.

1. Reporting on a meeting she had with the ACOG President and chief lobbyist, in a memo to Quinn and Wallman dated Jun 22, 96, Kagan stated that in practice, the number of partial birth abortions necessary to prevent serious adverse consequences to the health of the mother was "exceedingly small." In "not many cases was the approach the least risky, let alone the necessary approach."

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the "mother's health" exception would be rarely used. But in some few cases, it would be either wholly necessary, or the less risky of various alternatives.

Kagan reports to the same two in a memo dated Dec 14 96 that ACOG was thinking to issue a statement that includes the
following sentence: "[A] select panet convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under
which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the
health of the woman."


This statement is inconsistent with what Kagan had heard at the above meeting, because the existence of some few cases where it would be necessary (and a larger number where it would be less risky) had been wiped out. Had something changed? Or had the second group forgotten something that the first group knew?

Of course, as a lawyer Kagan knew that that statement, if it withstood review, would weaken Clinton's argument. So she was motivated to seek clarification.

Kagan may well have drafted a sentence from her notes from the June discussion, stating what she thought she had heard back then, and asking ACOG to verify that it was an accurate statement of the medical risks.

The drafted statement echoes her assessment from the June memo: An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure i.e. least risky in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. i.e. this decision cannot be made a priori for every woman for every pregnancy by a bunch of legislators in Washington.

former law student said...

OK, let us start with the goals of each side.

Bill Clinton wanted to carve out an exception for the health of the mother in the ban on post-viability "partial birth abortions."

Conservatives want women's health to suffer rather than have such an abortion.

1. Reporting on a meeting she had with the ACOG President and chief lobbyist, in a memo to Quinn and Wallman dated Jun 22, 96, Kagan stated that in practice, the number of partial birth abortions necessary to prevent serious adverse consequences to the health of the mother was "exceedingly small." In "not many cases was the approach the least risky, let alone the necessary approach."

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the "mother's health" exception would be rarely used. But in some few cases, it would be either wholly necessary, or the less risky of various alternatives.

Kagan reports to the same two in a memo dated Dec 14 96 that ACOG was thinking to issue a statement that includes the
following sentence: "[A] select panet convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under
which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the
health of the woman."


Now, this statement is inconsistent with what Kagan had heard at the above meeting, because the existence of some few cases where it would be necessary (and a larger number where it would be less risky) had been wiped out. Had something changed? Or had the second group forgotten something that the first group knew?

Of course, as a lawyer Kagan knew that that statement, if it withstood review, would weaken Clinton's argument. So she was motivated to seek clarification.

Kagan may well have drafted a sentence from her notes from the June discussion, stating what she thought she had heard back then, and asking ACOG to verify that it was an accurate statement of the medical risks.

The drafted statement echoes her assessment from the June memo: An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure i.e. least risky in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. i.e. this decision cannot be made a priori for every woman for every pregnancy by a bunch of legislators in Washington.

And ACOG decided to adopt Kagan's revision as its own words, because it reflected its own consensus medical opinion. So the teapot tempest should be over.

As a side note, it's funny that the same conservatives who want to keep government out of the sacrosanct doctor-patient relationship when universal health care rears its kindly head, would want to impose government interference between a doctor who advises his patient to get a late-term abortion as the best way to preserve her health.

But there you are.

former law student said...

OK, let us start with the goals of each side.

Bill Clinton wanted to carve out an exception for the health of the mother in the ban on post-viability "partial birth abortions."

Conservatives want women's health to suffer rather than have such an abortion.

1. Reporting on a meeting she had with the ACOG President and chief lobbyist, in a memo to Quinn and Wallman dated Jun 22, 96, Kagan stated that in practice, the number of partial birth abortions necessary to prevent serious adverse consequences to the health of the mother was "exceedingly small." In "not many cases was the approach the least risky, let alone the necessary approach."

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the "mother's health" exception would be rarely used. But in some few cases, it would be either wholly necessary, or the less risky of various alternatives.

Kagan reports to the same two in a memo dated Dec 14 96 that ACOG was thinking to issue a statement that includes the
following sentence: "[A] select panet convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under
which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the
health of the woman."


Now, this statement is inconsistent with what Kagan had heard at the above meeting, because the existence of some few cases where it would be necessary (and a larger number where it would be less risky) had been wiped out. Had something changed? Or had the second group forgotten something that the first group knew?

Of course, as a lawyer Kagan knew that that statement, if it withstood review, would weaken Clinton's argument. So she was motivated to seek clarification.

Kagan may well have drafted a sentence from her notes from the June discussion, stating what she thought she had heard back then, and asking ACOG to verify that it was an accurate statement of the medical risks.

The drafted statement echoes her assessment from the June memo: An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure i.e. least risky in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. i.e. this decision cannot be made a priori for every woman for every pregnancy by a bunch of legislators in Washington.

And ACOG decided to adopt Kagan's revision as its own words, because it reflected its own consensus medical opinion. So the teapot tempest should be over.

As a side note, it's funny that the same conservatives who want to keep government out of the sacrosanct doctor-patient relationship when universal health care rears its kindly head, would want to impose government interference between a doctor who advises his patient to get a late-term abortion as the best way to preserve her health.

But there you are.

former law student said...

OK, let us start with the goals of each side.

Bill Clinton wanted to carve out an exception for the health of the mother in the ban on post-viability "partial birth abortions."

Conservatives want women's health to suffer rather than have such an abortion.

1. Reporting on a meeting she had with the ACOG President and chief lobbyist, in a memo to Quinn and Wallman dated Jun 22, 96, Kagan stated that in practice, the number of partial birth abortions necessary to prevent serious adverse consequences to the health of the mother was "exceedingly small." In "not many cases was the approach the least risky, let alone the necessary approach."

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the "mother's health" exception would be rarely used. But in some few cases, it would be either wholly necessary, or the less risky of various alternatives.

Kagan reports to the same two in a memo dated Dec 14 96 that ACOG was thinking to issue a statement that includes the
following sentence: "[A] select panet convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under
which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the
health of the woman."


Now, this statement is inconsistent with what Kagan had heard at the above meeting, because the existence of some few cases where it would be necessary (and a larger number where it would be less risky) had been wiped out. Had something changed? Or had the second group forgotten something that the first group knew?

Of course, as a lawyer Kagan knew that that statement, if it withstood review, would weaken Clinton's argument. So she was motivated to seek clarification.

Kagan may well have drafted a sentence from her notes from the June discussion, stating what she thought she had heard back then, and asking ACOG to verify that it was an accurate statement of the medical risks.

The drafted statement echoes her assessment from the June memo: An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure i.e. least risky in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. i.e. this decision cannot be made a priori for every woman for every pregnancy by a bunch of legislators in Washington.

And ACOG decided to adopt Kagan's revision as its own words, because it reflected its own consensus medical opinion. So the teapot tempest should be over.

As a side note, it's funny that the same conservatives who want to keep government out of the sacrosanct doctor-patient relationship when universal health care rears its kindly head, would want to impose government interference between a doctor who advises his patient to get a late-term abortion as the best way to preserve her health.

But there you are.

Revenant said...

Bill Clinton wanted to carve out an exception for the health of the mother in the ban on post-viability "partial birth abortions."

And the ACOG determined that no such exceptions existed. Therefore the only use of the "exception" would be to allow people to circumvent the law for illegitimate reasons.

Which was, of course, the main reason it was put in there in the first place. After all, the government isn't going to second-guess a doctor who approves some third-trimester birth control with a wink and a nod. :)

former law student said...

And the ACOG determined that no such exceptions existed

Initially, no, and finally, no. Only briefly, in the middle.

And why would you deny women the least risky way to preserve their health? A healthy woman can always have another child.

AC245 said...

former law student said...
I note that Saletan told one fib:
'The third document is a set of undated notes in Kagan's handwriting, offering "suggested options" for editing the ACOG statement.'
Saletan's quoted sources do not make this claim -- the CSNews article is careful not to say the notes are in Kagan's handwriting.


Kagan's own testimony was that "the document is certainly in my handwriting."

Your dissembling about agreed-upon basic facts in this matter is pretty pathetic, even for you, FLS.

But, you continue to do an outstanding job of demonstrating Chase's earlier observations.

former law student said...

Kagan's own testimony was that "the document is certainly in my handwriting."

Your dissembling about agreed-upon basic facts in this matter is pretty pathetic, even for you, FLS.


Well, I have no trouble admitting I was foolish to rely on Saletan to get a complete account of Kagan's involvement in this matter. Thanks for pointing out an additional lapse of his.

Did Chase say, "When someone is hemming and hawing, you have to pin him down?" Because that's what Kagan did here.

former law student said...

Ah, Hatch was asking Kagan about some memo she wrote, to which she responded "the document is certainly in my handwriting." No clear reference to any handwritten notes at all.

http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/law/2010/06/live-blogging-elena-kagan-kagan-v-sessions.html

Revenant said...

Initially, no, and finally, no. Only briefly, in the middle.

In the final report actually written by obstetricians and gynecologists, the finding was that there was no medical need for partial birth abortion to save the life or health of women. If by "finally" you mean "after the Clinton administration rewrote the report" then, yes, "finally" the report didn't say that. :)

Interestingly, in the seven years during which partial birth abortion has been banned -- a period during which 14,000 such abortions would normally have occurred -- there hasn't been a single reported case of a woman dying because she was unable to receive a partial-birth abortion. Come to think of it, nobody was ever able to give an example of a case from before the ban where the procedure had been medically necessary, either.

And why would you deny women the least risky way to preserve their health?

Did I say I was against partial-birth abortion? I just object to you lying about it.

Partial birth abortion isn't medically necessary, and the ban on it has had no impact on women's health. The only reason the Democratic Party wet its panties over the issue is that NARAL is deathly afraid it represented the camel's nose in the tent for wider-scale abortion bans.

Michael said...

FLS: The memorandum was typewritten, her "clarification" to use your term, was handwritten. She was referring to the handwritten portion as was Hatch. You are now on the same lap as everyone else. More or less. Hard to get to speed when there is no Wiki to lean on, no?

MadisonMan said...

Kagan's own testimony was that "the document is certainly in my handwriting."

I wasn't watching, or listening, to the testimony, but I have to say that if a pompous windbag (i.e., a Senator) was asking me a question for which the answer was glaringly obvious, I might be tempted to dryly answer using Kagan's phrasing.

No idea if that's what happened, but it certainly fits my personality.

Michael said...

That last sentence is merely Saletan assuring his bosses at Slate that he would never, ever oppose Kagan, even after showing why she's unfit for the court.

I'm sure they raced to get Dahlia Lithwick to write another piece about how her lying about ACOG was a mark of her genius, humility, and personal charm.

AC245 said...

Well, I have no trouble admitting I was foolish to rely on Saletan to get a complete account of Kagan's involvement in this matter. Thanks for pointing out an additional lapse of his.

You didn't rely on Saletan's account, FLS - you disputed it and called him a liar.

[And again, what you called a lie was something that Kagan had already confirmed as true in her testimony before Congress -- testimony highlighted earlier in this very thread by Pastafarian.]

Compounding your earlier dissembling with outright mendacity isn't helping your cause.

Joan said...

MadisonMan, I've heard the testimony. This wasn't a case of Kagan drily acknowledging her authorship of the memo. This was a case of Kagan trying as hard as she could to deny that she had written it, so she could wiggle out of admitting that she lied. I'd say it was lame but "lame" doesn't begin to describe it. This was Clintonian in its attempt to redefine reality.

Trooper York said...

"OK, let us start with the goals of each side."

One side has no problem with killing a baby. Or even letting it die if it survives the abortion mill.

The other does have a problem with it.

It's as simple as that.

Trooper York said...

"And why would you deny women the least risky way to preserve their health? A healthy woman can always have another child."

Really? Is that what you really think in your heart of hearts.

Wow.

former law student said...

You didn't rely on Saletan's account, FLS - you disputed it and called him a liar.


Let me walk you through this:

Saletan provided three sources for all of the information he discussed in his article.

Saletan asserted that handwritten notes were in Kagan's handwriting.

None of his sources supported his assertion. One, in fact, was markedly careful not to support his assertion, casting Saletan's assertion into serious doubt.

Now, AC comes here to claim that Kagan admitted the handwritten notes were in her own handwriting.

And Kagan did no such thing

Hatch asked her about a memo, and she responded, using the term document. "Document" has to be the same as "memo;" otherwise her answer was not responsive. Someone as experienced as Senator Hatch -- lawyer for five decades and senator for three and a half -- will jump on non-responsive answers. Which he did not.

If "document" is "memo," then it cannot be "handwritten notes."

Unless Saletan can support his assertion that one sheet of handwritten notes was actually in Kagan's handwriting, given the caution of CSNews.com I must conclude he was fibbing.

former law student said...

Partial birth abortion isn't medically necessary,

What does medically necessary, mean?

Are you OK with death panels determining if treatment for you is medically necessary before you can get it?

and the ban on it has had no impact on women's health.

Lack of enforcement would explain that as well.

Michael said...

FLS: Have you never written by hand on a document? In the olden days lawyers wrote comments on the actual paper document. This is the technique that was employed in the Kagan case and it was Kagan herself who noted that the handwriting appeared to be her own.

Revenant said...

What does medically necessary, mean?

"Lacking an equally effective medical alternative".

Are you OK with death panels determining if treatment for you is medically necessary before you can get it?

The government has been doing that since the Roosevelt administration, and no, I'm not ok with it. Like I said, my objection is to your repeated lies about partial birth abortion, not to the procedure itself.

I don't think fetuses are human. So I don't really care that women have eight-month old fetuses killed simply because the women don't want a child. But we should be honest enough to admit that's their real motive; "health" is just a smokescreen.

AC245 said...

Now, AC comes here to claim that Kagan admitted the handwritten notes were in her own handwriting.

Hatch: “Did you write that memo?”
Kagan: “I’m sorry — the memo which is?”
Hatch: “The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”
Kagan: “Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — ”
Hatch: “But did you write it?”
Kagan: “The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

(YouTube video, 2:30-2:50)

Saint Croix said...

I don't think fetuses are human.

You think they're frogs?

The reason the Supreme Court uses that "fetus" word is precisely so you will agree with them that a baby in the womb is not human. Yes, it's an alien!

You have been manipulated.