Monday, May 10, 2010

President Obama Nominates Solicitor General Elena Kagan To Supreme Court

As was rumored on Friday, President Obama will be nominating Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Should she be confirmed, she would be the third woman on the Court, joining Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor. In fact, she would be the third woman with strong New York ties, having grown up in New York City. Her education includes attending Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Law (where she became dean 17 years after graduating law school).

Scotusblog is live blogging the nomination
, and is a great resource to check for further background. Here's a quick look at her background.

Kagan would be the first non-judge to be nominated in 40 years, which means that her judicial philosophy has to be gleaned from her writings and by evaluating her in the course of the confirmation hearings and meetings beforehand. It's a more difficult task than merely attempting to review her rulings on judicial cases. However, since she's been previously confirmed by the US Senate, her nomination isn't expected to be particularly troublesome unless some unexpected situation comes to light.

Still, I think some people might feel disappointed that the President didn't choose someone from a wider geographical scope as the Court is very heavily reliant on Ivy League and Northeast-based justices. There's also some concern from the left that she may not be so reliably liberal because she's argued for preserving many of the executive powers that were explored and expanded under the Bush Administration.

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