Elena Kagan's Supportive Words on Religious Liberty

Elena Kagan's Supportive Words on Religious Liberty


Conservative groups will no doubt bring up a memo Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote more than 20 years ago when she said that federal funds should not be given to religious organizations that provide care for teen pregnancies because it’s, “difficult for any religious organization to participate in such projects without injecting some kind of religious teaching . . . . But when the government funding is to be used for projects so close to the central concerns of religion, all religious organizations should be off limits.”

Well, it turns out she now says that she was wrong to write that. During her Solicitor General confirmation hearing last year she was asked about that memo and said:

"It seems now utterly wrong to me to say that religious organizations generally should be precluded from receiving funds for providing the kinds of services contemplated by the Adolescent Family Life Act . . . . I think it incorrect (or, as I more colorfully said at the hearing, ‘the dumbest thing I ever heard’) essentially to presume that a religious organization will use a grant of this kind in an impermissible manner.”

Score one for religious liberty. Kagan’s recent comments give conservative groups one less issue to bring up during this process. I’m not saying they won’t bring it up but the recent Kagan comments make it much harder for it to become a sticking point.


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