May 9, 2010
Obama Will Nominate Elena Kagan for Supreme Court
Kagan, 50, was formerly dean of Harvard Law School, was a law professor at Harvard at the University of Chicago, and served as Associate White House Counsel under President Bill Clinton. The New York Times reports that her lack of judicial experience could help and hurt her confirmation process.
As solicitor general, Ms. Kagan has represented the government before the Supreme Court for the past year, but her own views are to a large extent a matter of supposition.
Perhaps as a result, some on both sides of the ideological aisle are suspicious of her. Liberals dislike her support for strong executive power and her outreach to conservatives while running the law school. Activists on the right have attacked her for briefly barring military recruiters from a campus facility because the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the military violated the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
Replacing Justice Stevens with Ms. Kagan presumably would not alter the broad ideological balance on the court, but her relative youth means that she could have an influence on the court for decades to come, underscoring the stakes involved.
Focus on the Family Action's CitizenLink and Family Research Council have written about Kagan's issues related to homosexuality. If Kagan is nominated and confirmed, she would also be the third Jewish justice on the current bench, and there would be no Protestants on the high court.