Obama nominates Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

By Laurie Bennett

May 10, 2010 at 10:08am

President Obama today nominated Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court.

He cited fair-mindedness, negotiating skills and “understanding of law, not as an intellectual exercise, but as it affects the lives of people” among Kagan’s qualifications for the job.

Two records are expected to weigh in her favor. First, the vote confirming her in her current position as solicitor general drew support from seven Republicans. And then there’s the lack of judicial decisions on which she can be questioned.

She would be the first justice without experience on the bench since since William Rehnquist.

A former Harvard Law School dean, Kagan was one of four finalists for the court seat that went to Sonia Sotomayor last year.

Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan

Kagan would be the third woman on the court, and only the fourth ever to serve. At 50, she would be the youngest member of the current court. As Lyle Denniston points out on SCOTUSblog, Kagan is nearly three generations younger than John Paul Stevens, the justice she would replace.

She has degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law School and clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall. She met Obama at the University of Chicago, where they were both teaching. She later served as a domestic policy aide for Bill Clinton.

In Kagan, the Washington Post writes, Obama is seeking “a counterweight to the intellectual heft of Chief Justice John Roberts. Regardless of how strong a liberal Kagan would prove to be, as a former dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan practically defines legal gravitas.”

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  • #1.   Betty 05.12.2010

    Kagan agrees with Thergood Marshall that the constitution is flawed.
    A supreme court judge must be able to interpret the constitution as written by the founders, not opine that it is a flawed document. Kagan is not qualified.

  • #2.   brady 05.14.2010

    How in the world can you be nominated to be a supreme court judge without having ever been a judge before? Jesus christ you would think someone calling for the end of the first amendment would be enough of a red flag. Obama certainly is good at finding like minded people though, you know, people who study the constitution.. not to uphold it but, to be more skilled at disassembling it.

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