Thursday, August 5, 2010

Elena Kagan Joins Supreme Court - “That’s really progress.”

Elena Kagan Joins Supreme Court After 63-37 Vote in Senate

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to a seat on the Supreme Court. Ms. Kagan, who will be sworn in Saturday as the newest member of the court, was approved by a vote of 63 to 37.

President Obama said he expected that Ms. Kagan would be a strong addition to the court because she “understands that the law isn’t just an abstraction or an intellectual exercise.” “She knows that the Supreme Court’s decisions shape not just the character of our democracy, but the circumstances of our daily lives,” the president said.

Ms. Kagan, the former dean of the Harvard Law School, a legal adviser in the Clinton administration and solicitor general in the Obama White House, becomes the fourth woman to serve on the court. She will join two other women currently serving, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg . She succeeds Justice John Paul Stevens , the leader of the court’s liberal bloc, who is retiring. Democrats described the new justice as a brilliant legal scholar who would broaden the outlook of the court.

“When it opens this fall, three women — a full third of the bench — will preside together for the first time,” Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said. “That’s really progress.”


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