President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden introduced who they hoped will be the new Justice of the Supreme Court. The present Solicitor General Elena Kagan, is to replace Justice Stevens if she is successful in the nomination process.
Speaking from the East Room in the White House today, President Obama spoke about Justice Stevens saying;
“For nearly 35 years, Justice Stevens has stood as an impartial guardian of the law, faithfully applying the core values of our founding to the cases and controversies of our time.
He has done so with restraint and respect for precedent — understanding that a judge’s job is to interpret, not make law — but also with fidelity to the constitutional ideal of equal justice for all.
The “respect for precedent” is looked upon as a knock on The Supreme Court’s recent overturn of a long standing precedent involving Campaign Finance laws.
According to The President, The Solicitor General may not be an exact replacement for Justice Stevens, but she “embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity, and passion for the law — and who can ultimately provide that same kind of leadership on the Court.”
Kagan was the dean of Harvard Law School and a Professor of Law at Harvard University. She had also been a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School and served as Associate White House Counsel during the Clinton Administration.
President Obama continued;
“While Elena had a brilliant career in academia, her passion for the law is anything but academic. She has often referred to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she clerked, as her hero.”
She credits him with reminding her that, as she put it, “behind law there are stories — stories of people’s lives as shaped by the law, stories of people’s lives as might be changed by the law…”
Of the Justices to served on the Supreme Court, 111 of them were men. If confirmed, she would become the fourth female Justice in the Supreme Court’s history and the third on the current bench.
- Elena Kagan “Honored and Humbled” by Nomination (cbsnews.com)
- Bob Franken: Courting Kagan (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kagan ‘chosen for Supreme Court’ (news.bbc.co.uk)