News / USA

Obama Nominates Solicitor General Kagan for Supreme Court

President Barack Obama has nominated U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, to replace Associate Justice John Paul Stevens who is retiring.  

If confirmed, Kagan would become the 112th justice of the Supreme Court, and the fourth woman to join the court in its 221-year history.  This would mark the first time three woman would be serving at on the court at the same time.

The others are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by former president Bill Clinton, and Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court pick, confirmed by the Senate in 2009.  

With roots in New York City, Kagan is an experienced lawyer who was confirmed by the Senate last year in a 61 to 31 vote as Solicitor General, the nation's chief advocate arguing before the Supreme Court.  A former dean of the Harvard University Law School, at age 50 she would also be the youngest justice.

In a White House East Room ceremony, President Obama praised Kagan as an acclaimed legal scholar with a passion for the law and respect for a diversity of views.

"Elena is respected and admired not just for her intellect and record of achievement, but also for her temperament, her openness to a broad array of viewpoints," said President Obama. "Her habit, to borrow a phrase from [retiring Supreme Court associate justice John Paul Stevens] of understanding before disagreeing, her fair mindedness and skill at consensus-building."

Thanking the president for nominating her, Kagan paid tribute to John Paul Stevens, whose coming retirement created the vacancy she will fill if confirmed, and she laid out her view of the role of the court.

"The court is an extraordinary institution, in the work it does, and the work it can do for the American people, by advancing the tenants of our constitution, by upholding the rule of law and by enabling all Americans regardless of their background or their beliefs to get a fair hearing and an equal chance at justice," said Rlena Kagan.

This is the first time in nearly four decades a president has nominated someone without prior judicial experience to serve on the Supreme Court, the last time being under President Richard Nixon in 1972.

Amid the current highly-partisan political atmosphere in Congress, legal analysts predict opposition Republicans will raise her lack of judicial experience, although she is generally seen as highly qualified.

As Harvard Law School dean, Kagan joined a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court arguing that law schools should be able to bar U.S. military recruiters from campus because of the government's don't-ask, don't-tell policy barring gays from serving openly.   

Kagan also argued for the government in the Citizens United case, in which the Supreme Court in a five to four decision mirroring its ideological divisions held that the government could not limit campaign expenditures from corporations in the period immediately before an election, a decision President Obama sharply criticized.  

On Capitol Hill, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will consider her nomination, said Kagan's nomination hearing will be "thorough and complete", adding he hopes Republicans will not use it to score political points.

"That process should be an opportunity for all Americans to learn about the impact of the court's decisions on our lives, not as a venue for partisan political attacks on the president's nominee," said Senator Leahy.

A key Judiciary Committee Republican, Senator Orrin Hatch, said while he has an open mind on Kagan's confirmation process, beyond having an impressive resume is "the more important qualification of judicial philosophy."   

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid