Obama Nominates Kagan To Supreme Court

05.11.10 | FL News Team

President Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan [[ KAY-gun ]] as the 112th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In a White House ceremony, the President said Kagan is widely regarded as one of the nation's top legal minds. Obama called Kagan fair-minded and cited her skill as a "consensus builder." If Kagan is confirmed by the Senate, there will be three women on the high court for the first time in American history. Additionally, Kagan would become only the fourth woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court. The 50-year old Kagan would also be the youngest justice on the current high court. Kagan, a native of New York, called herself deeply honored and humbled. She will start preparing for Senate confirmation hearings immediately.

 Kagan is the nation's first female solicitor general. The solicitor general is a key Justice Department official who argues government cases before the Supreme Court. Kagan has degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law School. She's a former dean of Harvard Law who also worked in the Clinton White House, taught at the University of Chicago Law School and clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

 If confirmed, Kagan would become the first justice in nearly four decades who has no prior experience serving as a judge. She would succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Some Democrats have complained that Kagan is too moderate to replace Justice Stevens, the most liberal member of the Supreme Court. Stevens will retire when the court's annual session ends, early this summer. President Obama wants a new justice in place when the high court reconvenes in October. Obama praised Justice Stevens for being a consistent voice of reason for decades.