WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- A modest collection of anti-abortion groups led the protest Monday on Capitol Hill against Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on the first day of her confirmation hearings.
The scene was very much in step with the relatively noncontroversial atmosphere surrounding Kagan's nomination, which has largely been overshadowed by the BP oil spill and President Barack Obama's firing of Afghanistan commander U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
But though they were few in number, protesters outside the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room were heated and not just because of temperatures that nudged 100 degrees.
The group identified itself as Insurrecta Nex, a Washington organization associated with OverturnRoe.com, a Web site run by anti-abortion rights activist Randall Terry and that is dedicated to overturning the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Terry said he personally delivered dolls symbolizing 12-week-old bloody fetuses to Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., early Monday to push conservative lawmakers to block Kagan's confirmation.
"Her wacked-out views are going to be able to be a part of court decisions," Terry said. "She's simply not fit to be on the court."
One of Terry's protesters carried a toy baby doll smeared with red that he pretended to repeatedly stab with a sharp instrument.
Kagan was nominated by Obama in May to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. At 50, Kagan, solicitor general for the Obama administration and former dean of Harvard Law School, would be the youngest member and the fourth woman named to the Supreme Court.
Anti-abortion rights groups have protested Kagan's nomination, using her tenure as an adviser to President Bill Clinton as fodder for their case. While Kagan was his adviser, Clinton twice vetoed a bill that banned so-called partial-birth abortions because of concerns it posed to women's health, documents released by the Clinton library indicate.
"She believes that her own personal opinions are as important as the law in front of her," said Charmaine Yoest, president of America United for Life, a national anti-abortion rights organization campaigning against Kagan. "Americans who believe in the ideals of self-governance should be very concerned by this."
In 1997, Kagan co-authored a letter to Clinton recommending he approve amendments to the partial-birth abortion ban that contained exceptions for cases where pregnancy posed a serious risk to the mother's health, the documents provided by the Clinton library showed.
During her confirmation hearings for solicitor general last September, Kagan said she supported a woman's constitutional right to abortion, according to the testimony.
Abortion rights advocates at Planned Parenthood Federation of America support Kagan. National abortion rights group NARAL is advocating for a fair hearing but hasn't taken a position on Kagan. Neither group responded to telephone calls for an interview.