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From The Hill:

Republicans are questioning Elena Kagan’s ties to a liberal icon and the nation’s first African-American Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall.

In its first memo to reporters since Kagan’s nomination to the high court became public, the Republican National Committee highlighted Kagan’s tribute to Marshall in a 1993 law review article published shortly after his death.

Kagan quoted from a speech Marshall gave in 1987 in which he said the Constitution as originally conceived and drafted was “defective.”

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Marshall cited in particular the definition in the original Constitution to slaves as representing three-fifths of “free Persons” when counting the nation’s population. That reference was rendered moot with the ratification, following the Civil War, of the 13th and 14th Amendments abolishing slavery and granting full citizenship to all people born in the U.S.

Kagan quoted him as saying the Supreme Court’s mission was to “show a special solicitude for the despised and the disadvantaged.”

“Does Kagan Still View Constitution ‘As Originally Drafted And Conceived’ As ‘Defective’?” the RNC asked in its research document. “And Does Kagan Still Believe That The Supreme Court’s Primary Mission Is To ‘Show A Special Solicitude For The Despised And Disadvantaged’?”

The Republican national chairman, Michael Steele, also used Kagan’s tribute to Marshall in a statement responding to her nomination.

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