Solicitor General Elena Kagan has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama. In my opinion, the former Dean of the Harvard Law School is an excellent choice. Once she is confirmed by the Senate, the United States will have three women Justices for the first time in its history. While Kagan has never been a judge, she has enjoyed a tremendous legal career. She was the first female dean of Harvard Law School, and the first woman to serve as the top Supreme Court lawyer for any administration. She will succeed Justice John Paul Stevens who has been a positive force on the High Court for a very long time. At 50 years old, Kagan would be the youngest Justice on the Court.
But the nominee must first win Senate confirmation. Her reputation for bringing folks of competing views together and earning their respect will help her win Senate confirmation. While I believe it would be a big mistake for Republicans to prevent a vote on this nominee, they certainly have every right to question her in confirmation hearings over her qualifications. But undue delay won’t play well with the public.
Kagan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton, a Master’s from Oxford and a law degree from Harvard. She served as a Supreme Court clerk for one of her legal heroes, Justice Thurgood Marshall. And before that, she clerked for Federal Appeals Court Judge Abner Mikva, who later became an important political mentor to President Obama in Chicago. In her current job, Kagan represents the U.S. government and defends acts of Congress before the Supreme Court and decides when to appeal lower court rulings. Her performance as the government’s lawyer before the High Court over the last year has been most impressive.
Kagan would be the fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court, following current Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor and retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Barring extraordinary circumstances, Solicitor General Elena Kagan should have a relatively smooth confirmation to the Supreme Court. Seven Republicans voted for her nomination to be Solicitor General, making it unlikely the GOP can unify enough to sustain a filibuster.
Source: Associated Press
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