Elena Kagan

Jurist / U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Date Of Birth:
28 April 1960
Place Of Birth:
New York City, New York
Best Known As:
Barack Obama's 2010 nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court

Elena Kagan became the 112th person to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice when she took office in 2010. Kagan had been nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama on 10 May 2010, after the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens. She was confirmed by the Senate on 5 August 2010 and joined the Court for the session beginning in October of 2010. Elena Kagan earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton in 1981 and then attended Oxford (Worcester College), receiving a Masters of Philosophy degree in 1983. Next up was Harvard Law School, where she was supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated in 1986. She clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall during the high court's 1987-88 term, then worked at a private law firm before becoming a law professor at the University of Chicago in 1991. She moved to the White House in 1995 as Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton (1995-96) and then Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (1997-99). She became a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 1999, a full professor in 2001, and Dean of the Law School in 2003. She remained in that post until 2009, when newly-elected President Barack Obama appointed her to the post of Solicitor General. She was confirmed in March of 2009 and continued to serve in that post through her nomination, in May of 2010, to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Kagan was Obama's second nominee to the Supreme Court; the first, Sonia Sotomayor, was confirmed in 2009. With Kagan, Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 2010 Supreme Court was the first to have three female justices.

Extra Credit:

Elena Kagan has never been married and has no children… She is the first woman ever to be Solicitor General, and the 45th Solicitor General overall; the office was created in 1870… Thurgood Marshall nicknamed her “Shorty,” according to a 2010 profile of Kagan in The New York Times… Kagan was nominated to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Republican chairman Orrin Hatch, refused to schedule a hearing on Kagan’s nomination and so her nomination died when Clinton left office after the 2000 elections.

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