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Elena Kagan Sworn in as 4th Woman in History on Supreme Court

4 years ago
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She smiled broadly as admirers stood and applauded. New Yorker Elena Kagan was sworn in Saturday as the Supreme Court's 112th justice, the third woman on the current bench and the fourth female ever to serve on the highest court in the land.

Kagan, 50, has never before been a judge at any level, but she has appeared before the Supreme Court as the nation's solicitor general and before that was dean of the Harvard Law School and a counsel to the Clinton White House.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered two oaths: one in a ceremony in a conference room at the court with only her family present, and then a second with friends and reporters in attendance, the Associated Press said. "We look forward to serving with you," Roberts told her.
Elena Kagan sworn in as Supreme Court Justice by Chief Justice John Roberts
Kagan was confirmed by the Senate 63-37 on Thursday. Republicans complained about her lack of judicial experience and liberal leanings.

She won't be formally installed until the new court term begins on Oct. 1, but she can assume the duties of a justice, including reviewing cases and emergency appeals. Going in, Kagan won't change the balance of the court, which often splits 5-4 with a conservative edge on politically-charged cases. She joins Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor in the womens' caucus; the first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, retired in 2005.

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43 Comments

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dc walker

Justice Kagan you can now prove yourself a great jurist for the American people or another government official corrupt by ideology.

August 08 2010 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dc walker's comment
gistockstill

She represented BHO on his citizenship cases prior to being appointed as Supreme Court Justice so that she can rule on them??? Check out the cases before the Supreme Court.

September 05 2010 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
norfwest

How could I forget "activist judge" is the second most popular catch phrase for the Right nowadays? It is in a close race for first with " tax cuts".

August 08 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Lobster Man

Politics aside, I am wondering why is it that there is this notion that a Supreme Court nominee should have judicial experience as a judge. Judicial decisions are not always well received and are sometimes controversial, like the recent Arizona's immigration law and California's anti-gay marriage legislation. If anyone can run and appointed to the highest office of the land like Ronald Reagan (the actor) why not someone with no judicial experience but someone of good character and a respected fellow citizen be nominated to sit on the bench of the nation's highest court. After our system of government is for we the people by the people.

August 08 2010 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
konviser

There's something to be said for experience and there's something to be said for bringing in an outsider to bring fresh perspective. It seems that just about everyone, whether on the Left or the Right, will go with experience when the candidate/nominee they like happens to be experienced and will go with the outsider when the candidate/nominee they like happens to be an outsider. Not that Elena Kagan is at all an outsider to the law. She's had a great deal of experience in the law, but not from the perspective of sitting on the bench. As has been pointed out, there have been some other justices in the history of the Supreme Court who had not had experience as a jude prior to coming to the Supreme Court. Most notable of these was the man who was very probably the most important justice in the history of the Supreme Court - Chief Justice John Marshall, appointed by John Adams in 1801 and serving until 1835.

August 08 2010 at 1:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
punnster

It will be interesting to see if Kagan is judicial or political.

August 08 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
wpabrams

This just another case in which the american peoples wishes were thrown aside. Why doesn't the Associated Press do a poll and see what we think. I bet she would lose.

August 07 2010 at 11:57 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wpabrams's comment
christierandall

she would win hands down...

August 08 2010 at 7:37 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Did Roberts get the oath right at last???

August 07 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom's comment
dorahlea

And your point is? Are you judging him from your armchair?

August 08 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
drivinfool5

Yeah, the part about upholding it

August 08 2010 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chandni55

many forget the former chief justice of the supreme court had never served on the bench till being nominated as an associate justice. he did work as a lawyer though.

August 07 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply
Hello!

How sad that so much is made of the fact that only 4 women in America's history have been suitable for this position. So much for equality.

Congratulation to Justice Kagan. May you have a place in history that elevates you to a position of fairness to all.

August 07 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse -37 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hello!'s comment
jbanderson4249

Judges should not be picked because of gender. I am a woman and I can't see why it is so important to put another woman on the Supreme court. Don't men and women read the same Constitution and that is what they are upholding. Whoever serves need only uphold the Constitution of the United States. I don't really want them make decisions as a man or a woman, I want the decisions to be based on whether it is constitutional or not.

August 08 2010 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mellorsqst

my, the first thing that comes to mind is this administration so completely without thought, that this is the best they can come up with for a supreme court judge. this nominee, now judge is without the qualifications on all levels, and will surely be a judge that will rule in line with her ideology.. one which has been at odds with the constitution throughout her professional life. she will make law and not rule on it's merits.. incredibly short sighted and rife with politics..

August 07 2010 at 9:25 PM Report abuse +27 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mellorsqst's comment
wcmjr53

Where were these complaints when the best George W could come up with was his own personal lawyer, Harriet Myers (until she withdrew her nomination out of embarrassment)? She didn't have a tenth of the resume and achievements Justice Kagan has, but her ridiculous nomination seemed to be just fine with right-wingers. Can you say hypocrisy?

August 08 2010 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jbanderson4249

wcmjr53, she withdrew because the liberal attacked her on a personal level. She was not his personal lawyer either, she was a lawyer for the government. Having a resume doesn't make you qualified. Have you really looked into Harriet Myers resume, or just going along with the liberal crowd.

August 08 2010 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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