Abner Mikva, Obama’s “Respectable” Socialist Mentor

President Barack Obama and his latest Supreme court nominee Elena Kagan have a friend in common -prominent former Congressman and Chicago lawyer, Abner Mikva.

Trevor Louden, New Zeal Blog

Posted By Newssleuth


Abner Mikva

Fresh out of Harvard law School Elena Kagan clerked for then Judge Mikva in Washington DC in 1986-87. In the 1990s Obama, Kagan and Mikva were all on the Faculty of the University of Chicago Law School.

Obama’s relationship with Abner Mikva is long and deep but has been subject to little scrutiny. After all, Abner Mikva is no radical, he is a highly respected “liberal” and Chicago elder statesman.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times April 14, 2009;

Abner Mikva, a revered figure in Illinois politics, was an early Barack Obama booster and mentor. Mikva’s backing–he is the gold standard for integrity in Illinois politics–was important in Obama establishing his credentials in the early days of his political career and in his U.S. Senate run.

Abner Mikva was one of Obama’s early admirers beginning in 1990 when he tried to hire the first black president of the Harvard Law Review for a coveted clerkship. (Obama turned him down, saying he was going to move to Chicago and run for public office). “I thought that showed a lot of chutzpah on his part,” says Mikva.

When the Obamas settled in Hyde Park and Obama became a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Mikva, “whom Obama already knew from Washington”, also taught there, and the two renewed their acquaintance and became close. “We would have lunch and breakfast together and talk about a lot of things, different issues,”

How the pair knew each other “from Washington”, where Obama never lived or worked or studied, is an interesting question.

When Obama won the Presidency Mikva summed up Obama’s victory as also a victory for Chicago;

Really what we’ll get out of this is, it will make clear once and for all Chicago is not just full of pork-barrel, sleazy politicians who know only Machine politics… We also will have a very special president.

Obama repaid those kind words by appointing Mikva’s daughter, Laurie Mikva, to the board of the Legal Services Corporation in June 2009.

Laurie Mikva


But who is Abner Mikva really? This is a man who mentored the President of the United States and employed a possible Supreme Court Justice. Is there anything in Abner Mikva’s background that should concern us?

After service in WW2, Abner Mikva studied law at the University of Chicago. In 1949 communist led students went on strike at the City College of New York. Twenty University of Chicago campus leaders met in April that year to show support for their New York counterparts, Abner Mikva among them. Several of the 20 had communist connections including Elias Snitzer and Sid Socolar, both of whom later took the 5th Amendment during government security hearings when questioned over alleged Communist Party membership .

Arthur Goldberg

In 1947 leftist lawyer Arthur Goldberg became senior partner with Abner Mikva in the Chicago law firm of Goldberg, Devoe, Shadur, & Mikva.

Arthur Goldberg sponsored several local Communist Party fronts, including the Chicago Conference on Race Relations, the Conference on Constitutional Liberties in America and the National Emergency Conference. He was also president of the Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, accurately described in government hearings a “the foremost legal bulwark of the Communist Party”. Surprisingly these affiliations did not stop Goldberg later becoming a Supreme Court Justice and US Ambassador to the United Nations under Lyndon Johnson.

In the early 1950’s George Anastaplo a classmate of Mikva’s at the University of Chicago Law School sparked controversy, when he refused to deny Communist Party membership to a Character and Fitness Committee of the Illinois Bar. The Committee investigated and because he had not answered its questions, he was told he could not become a lawyer.

Mikva was one of the first to come to Anastaplo’s aid.

In 1954 ”amicus curiae” briefs were filed on Anastplo’s behalf by two radical dominated organizations, the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild. The ACLU brief, filed in the Supreme Court of Illinois was signed by Mikva and Leon Despres (a friend of Saul Alinsky, an associate of Leon Trotsky and later a mentor to Barack Obama). The NLG brief filed was signed by Pearl Hart, a veteran of several communist fronts, including the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.

Mikva too, would work with Alinsky, the legendary father of “community organizing”.

In the 1966 Democratic primary election Abner Mikva, then an Illinois State legislator, challenged the Daley machine-backed incumbent Barrett O’Hara for the 2nd Congressional District. Abner Mikva was supported by “liberal, independent forces and “The Woodlawn Organization”. To avoid jeopardizing the organization’s nonpartisan tax exemption, TWO staffers went on the Mikva campaign payroll. They even recruited the notorious Blackstone Rangers street gang to put up yard signs warning against bribes offered by the “machine” team. Saul Alinsky was organizing TWO at the time and believed that a Mikva victory, made possible by TWO’s political muscle, could have been a springboard to bigger things on the South Side.

Alinsky was reportedly furious when Mikva narrowly lost the primary.

In January 1969, the Chicago radical newspaper, Hyde Park- Kenwood Voices, listed those who had helped produce its first 16 monthly issues as “writers, researchers, photographers, artists and clerical workers”.

The list included Abner Mikva, who wrote a regular column for the paper.

The “Voices” was a mouthpiece for Students for a Democratic Society, Cuba sugar cane cutters, anti Vietnam War activists and radicals of every stripe.

Proprietors were David S. Canter and Don RoseCanter was a Communist Party member and importer and distributor of Soviet literature. As such, he was once required to register as an official agent of the Soviet Union. Rose was equally as radical, but never a proven Party member. He was however a leader of the communist front Chicago Committee to defend the Bill of Rights.

After the “Voices” folded in the mid 1970s, Rose and Canter went on to mentor a promising young journalist named David Axelrod – the man who put Barack Obama in the White hose and now serves as the President’s chief adviser.

In April 1975, the Communist Party controlled Chicago Peace Council convened a “National conference for a drastic cutback in military spending” in Chicago;

The purpose of the National Conference is to mount a national campaign and a vigorous program of action which will speak to the hundreds of thousands who were part of the inspiring resistance to the war in Indo-China. The people of the U.S. can and must turn this country around…

Speakers at the conference included Richard Criley and Norman Roth of the Communist Party and the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, Fr. Gerard Grant and Frank Rosen (also “Committee” members) , Ed Sadlowski of the United Steel Workers Union and later Democratic Socialists of America and of course Congressman Abner Mikva.

Mikva had been elected to Congress in 1968. In Washington, Mikva became involved with the far left Institute for Policy Studies. At the the time, the IPS was a magnet for “liberal” Democrats (and even a few Republicans), Marxists, third world radicals, Eastern Bloc diplomats and at least few known KGB agents and contacts. It was (and remains) a center of subversion in the heart of the nation’s capital.

In 1983, IPS celebrated its 20th anniversary with a giant “bash” at the National Building Museum, attended by approximately 1,000 staffers, politicians and supporters. Abner Mikva, of course attended, while his wife Zoe handled arrangements for the function.

IPS held regular seminars and schools, attracting people from all over the US and abroad. Could it have been through IPS that Mikva first met Barack Obama in Washington? Certainly Obama was in the IPS “orbit”. In 1999 IPS affiliate Charles Halpern recruited Obama from Chicago to help establish and serve as Trustee of the New York based “non-profit” Demos, an official IPS partner organization.

Coincidentally Obama’s former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones was also a Demos Trustee.

After his Congressional career, Mikva served as a judge in Washington DC (where he employed Elena Kagan) and later as White House counsel under Bill Clinton.

After leaving the White House Mikva returned to his Chicago roots.

Not people to abandon old friends, Abner and Zoe Mikva sent a message “Hooray for Progressives” to the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America 44th Annual Eugene V. Debs – Norman Thomas – Michael Harrington Dinner, held on May 10, 2002.

Frank Wilkinson

On Sunday October 29, 2006, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights held a “Celebration of the The Dynamic Life of Frank Wilkinson (1914-2006).” Frank Wilkinson, a founder of the “Committee’ had been a 40 year veteran of the Communist Party before going on to join the almost as radical Democratic Socialists of America.

Abner Mikva served on the honoring committee with past or current Communist Party supporters Donna Wilkinson, Joan Elbert, Ruth Emerson, Yolanda Hall, Peggy Lipschutz, Bea Lumpkin, Frank Lumpkin, Harold Rogers, Mark Rogovin, Norman Roth, Emile Schepers, Studs Terkel and Tim Yeager.

Democratic Socialists of America members on the committee included Congressman Danny K. Davis, Timuel Black and Dr. Quentin Young all coincidentally close friends and supporters of Barack Obama.

The left side of Chicago politics is so much part of the mainstream, it is almost “respectable”.   Democrats, communists and socialists work together, join each others front groups and even each others political parties.

Barack Obama, Abner Mikva are both steeped this culture. Elena Kagan is at least peripherally connected to it. Young lawyers tend to clerk for those who share their outlook.

Chicago socialism has been a powerful force in Illinois politics since the election of far left mayor Harold Washington in 1983. Now it has spread to Capitol Hill and the White House and threatens to infect the entire country.

16 responses to “Abner Mikva, Obama’s “Respectable” Socialist Mentor

  1. Time to resurrect the House Un-American Committee! Really, it is way overtime. The connections and interweaving of these people and groups is amazing!

    Respectable? Revolutionaries and Communists are respectable? Overthrowing the USA is their goal and that is treason. Did treason become respectable recently?

    The coverup is in the names..because they blend into each other, we don’t have one name to identify them as enemies. We can call one a socialist, another a Marxist, and yet another a communist or progressive. We need agreement on how to “BRAND” these national home grown terrorists..and they are that.

    Putin warned us about the USA’s march toward communism. Who was listening?

    Kudos to Trevor once again for his work and for finding connections that have been missed and ignored by the clerks that work for the media.

    Isn’t it great that the commie, Axelrod, is in the WH advising on policy!

    “Mikva served as a judge in Washington DC (where he employed Elena Kagan) and later as White House counsel under Bill Clinton. ” Perhaps those 160,000 pages of work requested from the Clinton archives that Elena worked on during the Clinton administration will be more revealing as to her views. Young lawyers clerk for judges aligned with their views ..that sure says it all!

  2. I wonder if those Kagan documents have any redactions and what’s blacked out? All the good incriminating information I bet.

    • Sleuth, You are right. Good post !

    • Yup. Obama is putting the pressure on them to find and turn over all the Kagan documents asap. They need them quickly so they can “sanitize” them before Congress sees them.

  3. Appoint Abner Mikva To Obama’s Senate Seat
    December 9, 2008

    It’s a short-term solution but it’s the only immediate solution I can see to the current mess created by Rod Blagojevich. Illinois now faces the awful prospect of either having an appointed Senator who will be greeted with immediate suspicion (if, of course, the Senate allows such a person to be seated at all) or having Barack Obama’s seat vacant when the new session begins in January.

    Anyone who was under consideration before today (no matter how they gained office) would enter under a continuing cloud, one which could only darken as Blagojevich’s case made its agonizing way through the federal courts.

    But the 82-year old Mikva is beyond reproach – perhaps the only man alive in Illinois who could be appointed tomorrow without tarnish. Absent any age-related health issues, Mikva would serve with distinction. It’s the only thing he’s ever done. He was a great Congressman (with the special honor of having been the target of redistricting ousters by both machine Democrats and Republicans), and he was a brilliant member of the D.C. Circuit. It doesn’t hurt that he was one of the President-elect’s earliest supporters. At a time when Ted Kennedy is stepping away from his seat on the Judiciary Committee, there is no one with greater wisdom or experience to oversee the first round of Obama appointments.


    • “Beyond reproach?” Right.

      Doesn’t that story about Mikva asking Obama to clerk for him sound like so much MORE bull? A cover story. They all cover for him. He didn’t clerk because he wasn’t qualified, not because he wanted to go to Chicago. Notice how Mikva got the story wrong. He said Obama wanted to go to Chicago to run for office. But Obama always says that he wanted to go become a community organizer to HELP people. Whoops. O, what a tangled web . . .

      • I just came across the following statements. These were written just after Obama was selected Head of Harvard Law Reveiw:
        BOSTON GLOBE – 2-15-90
        Obama plans to return to Chicago after graduation – I’ve finally found a home,” he said, smiling – and intends to resume community work and possibly to enter politics.

        THE TORONTO STAR – 3-18-90
        After graduation next year, Obama says, he probably will spend two years at a corporate law firm, then look for community work. Down the road, he plans to run for public office.

        • Boy, this sure sounds like someone who had his life planned out for him.

          Perhaps this is why he wept so hard at his father’s grave. He was given his orders, and didn’t have much say in the matter?

          There are so many discrepancies as to how many times, and the years that Obama has visited Kenya.

        • good find Cynic . 1990 ?, well …..conspiriciocraty is beginning to show it’s pretty little head. I didn’t say that ,someone was moving my fingers on the keyboard????

  4. Ab Mikva talks about his ex-clerk Elena Kagan
    5/10/2010 snips

    The former U.S. Appellate Court judge and White House counsel knows Ms. Kagan about as well as anyone in the government, having been her boss in both of those positions, when she clerked for him as
    a judge and served as his deputy when he was the chief White House lawyer in the Clinton administration.

    Mr. Mikva — at age 84, a liberal by anyone’s standard — said he didn’t select his clerks on the basis of ideology. “Maybe they picked me” on that basis. “In the terms you (media) guys use, she often ended up on the liberal side,” he continued. “But she
    had a lot of conservative views. She was very big on family values . . . (and) very sensitive to her immigrant traditions.” Ms. Kagan’s grandparents emigrated here from Eastern Europe.

    Ms. Kagan stayed on in the White House after Mr. Mikva left, working among other things on welfare reform, he said.


  5. President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
    April 14, 2009 snips

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts……;
    Laurie Mikva, Nominee for Board Member, Legal Services Corporation

    Laurie Mikva has a strong record of working to aid indigent people to obtain necessary legal services. From 1993-2008, Mikva worked in Champaign, Illinois, as a staff attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., the legal aid provider for central and southern Illinois.

    Between 1988-1991, Mikva worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Urbana, Illinois, where she represented indigent defendants in criminal cases, and parents in juvenile abuse and neglect proceedings.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-More-Key-Administration-Post s-4/14/09/

  6. Kagan The Unqualified
    By Steven D. Laib
    May 13th, 2010 Snips

    Elena Kagan, despite her resume is unqualified for the US Supreme Court, and not because she lacks judicial experience

    The nomination of Elena Kagan for the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court is a slap in the face to serious lawyers, experienced jurists and anyone who has a serious understanding of the law. Of course, from Barack Obama, someone who seems to have very little knowledge of, or respect for, the law and particularly the Constitution, it should not be surprising. After all, he has a particularly warped view of just about everything that relates to the Supreme Court.

    Later, she also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. All well and good, except for the slant of her approach to the law. Here was a definite showing that she was no centrist, nor was she interested in the law for its own sake. Instead, she was attaching herself to people who saw the law as a tool for controlling the people, and expanding government power at the expense of the citizenry.

    This becomes more significant when we examine her approach to First Amendment issues. It appears that Ms. Kagan does not believe in true freedom of speech. In a recent brief, in the matter of United States v. Stevens, Kagan opined to the Supreme Court that “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” On April 20, 2010 the Court rejected this view.

  7. http://www.debka.com/article/8792/
    Iranian teams train on S-300 interceptors at Russian bases
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 19, 2010, 5:39 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Tags: Iran nuclear Russian S-300
    S-300 effective against air or missile attack

    While joining the US in backing a softened UN Security Council sanctions package against Iran, Tuesday, May 18, Moscow is reported by debkafile’s military sources as surreptitiously training Iranian Revolutionary Guards crews at Russian bases to operate the advanced S-300 interceptor-missile systems, which are capable of fending off a potential US or Israel attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    UN sources disclose that the new sanctions motion – in its present diluted form – does not expressly forbid the consignment of this weapon to Iran.
    Moscow is withholding them from Tehran for now, keeping the promise prime minister Vladimir Putin gave President Barack Obama. But if and when the weapons are delivered, Iran will have trained crews ready to operate them.
    In their push to develop military ties with Iran and its allies, the Russians earlier this month also agreed to sell Syria MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles in a major arms transaction.
    Washington and Jerusalem have known about the presence of IRGC S-300 missile crews at Russian training bases since early May. But when Israeli president Shimon Peres raised the issue during his talks with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on May 9, he was told sharply that neither Israel nor any other government is entitled to tell Russia to whom it may give military assistance.
    And when US diplomats in New York and Moscow were instructed to ask their opposite numbers whether the training program augured the shipment of the interceptors to Iran, notwithstanding Putin’s promise, they were greeted with deafening silence.
    On May 11, the White House was worried enough to send the president’s nuclear adviser to tell reporters: “The United States has made clear to Russia that delivering a promised advance air defense system to Iran would have serious implications on US-Russian relations.”
    This was the sternest admonition for Moscow to be heard ever from an Obama spokesman. This time, the Russians responded with equal abrasiveness. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who was with President Medvedev in Ankara at the time, shot back: Moscow needs “no advice from across the ocean” about the sale of the S-300.
    These less-than-diplomatic exchanges aside, the fact remains that Moscow’s consent to start training Iranian missile crews has strengthened Tehran’s hopes of the interceptors’ early delivery. The Iranians are even more encouraged by the success of the Russian-Chinese bid to delete from the UN sanctions draft any substantial expansion of the standing international arms embargo that might apply to the sophisticated S-300 anti-missile, anti-air system.
    and now

    First, I want to say that I am retired NYPD and I knew 4 of the police officers that were murdered on 9/11. Mayor Bloomberg? You are a disgraceful man if you do not open your mouth about this ASAP. Appeasing frauds like Bloomberg and Obama will cause a nuclear 9/11 one day in America.

    In 1998 I asked a former Russian intelligence official how Moscow might successfully pull off a surprise nuclear attack against the United States without suffering a devastating retaliation.
    He replied without hesitation, saying: “If you ever hear that Arab terrorists have attacked an American city with nuclear weapons don’t believe it.” The attack, he said, would be from Russia. – JR Nyquist

  8. Pingback: Listen to Elina Kegan Get He Tail Kicked in Oral Arguement Before SCOTUS.+a breif Bio - Political Forum

  9. Soundex Code for Kagan = K250
    Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code:

    Same name as Cohen * NOTE*

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