Rep. Poe Baselessly Claims Kagan "Wants Control Over Free Thought"

June 08, 2010 4:01 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

This afternoon on the House floor, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) railed against Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.  Poe, a former judge, wrongly claimed that Kagan "banned" the military from recruiting at Harvard Law School for "personal and biased reasons," though he never said what those reasons might be. 

"Kagan is hostile to the First Amendment," Poe argued. "She wants control over free thought and free expression unless she personally agrees with it." Watch:

Poe's leap from a false GOP talking point to the suggestion that Kagan is "hostile" to free speech and free thought is absurd.   

In fact, Eugene Volokh, a conservative-leaning First Amendment scholar, reviewed Kagan's writings on free speech and concluded that "they're excellent" despite his disagreement in certain areas. "Kagan's First Amendment work suggests a general acceptance of current free speech law, and an attempt to better understand it and make it more internally consistent rather than to radically change it," he added. 

Read Political Correction's complete fact check of Poe's speech HERE