Andrea Mitchell   |  May 13, 2010

Kagan on Hill to field more questions

As Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan continues to meet with top lawmakers, they are searching for any clues as to where she stands on hot-button issues such as abortion and racial profiling. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports.

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>>> as elena kagan makes the rounds today on capitol hill , senators are searching for where she stands on issues like abortion and racial profiling. one source could be memos she wrote as a lawyer in the clinton white house . josh, let's just put out there right away that some will say that as she was writing these mem memos, she wasn't giving her own opinio opinions. she was politically pragmatic, bgt what did they show and why are they creating a stir?

>> i'm just back from little rock . i came back last night after spending a couple of days there. i should also stress most of her stuff is still secret, so we don't know everything that's going to come out.

>> so, you were going through -- i would assume you were going through the files of others such as her boss when she was writing mos for him.

>> right, she was the deputy domestic policy adviser, so some of the things she wrote, some notes between the two of them are in his files and a few other people whose files have been received, but her files haven't come out yet. but she did some advising of the president on the issue of abortion. we saw a couple of different areas where she advised him to take up a or to endorse a proposal senator daschle was making for an alternative for the partial birth abortion restrictions that republicans were pushing. this would have allowed partial birth abortion only to the harm of the mother. abortion rights groups thought that was too ownerous a restriction, that it didn't include mental ainge wish.

>> and that was a time where clinton was facing republican opposition on the hill. therefore, they were trying to come up with more pragmatic solutions to prevent a more drastic in their life restriction on abortion.

>> the way the obama white house are spinning this is that they were tactical recommendations from kagan and other advisers, they had sort of the short end of the stick. this was a minimum they could get away with. i think if you look through all the terribmaterial, it may be hard to defend that. there do seem to be some episodes in a classic sense where president clinton was deliberately trying to take a centrist position. we don't see objectives so far.

>> josh, who did the real shoe leather down there, thank you very much. this sunday