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Elena Kagan Takes Her Seat as 112th Supreme Court Justice

3 years ago
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President Obama was on hand Friday to witness the formal investiture of Elena Kagan, the 112th Supreme Court justice and the fourth woman to be named to the high court.

Kagan repeated the oath of office as she took her seat on the court, wearing a black robe she received as a gift from her former colleagues at Harvard Law School.

The event in the Supreme Court chambers was largely ceremonial, as Kagan officially was sworn into office nearly two months ago after the Senate confirmed her 63-37 on Aug. 5 on a mostly party-line vote.

Kagan, 50, the former dean of Harvard Law School and until recently the nation's solicitor general, was chosen by Obama to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Like Stevens, she is expected to be a liberal voice on the court, which often splits 5-4 in favor of conservatives.

The court, which begins its new fall term on Monday, will hear cases involving the Westboro Baptist Church and free speech issues, state bans on video games, and the death penalty. Appeals which may reach the court in the next couple of years include Arizona's immigration reform law, California's ban on same-sex marriage, and states' challenges to the U.S. health care reform law.

Kagan joins current female justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. The first woman in the court's history, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who retired in 2005 sat at Friday's brief ceremony with the president and retired justices Stevens and David Souter.

In his State of the Union speech earlier this year, with the justices in the audience, Obama criticized the court for its decision to allow unlimited campaign contributions by corporations. But he was greeted Friday by Chief Justice John Roberts, who said, "You are always welcome here," the New York Times reported.

For Obama, Friday's 2 p.m. ceremony followed a much different gathering earlier in the East Room of the White House, where the president said good-bye to his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, whom he called and "incomparable leader . . . who we will miss very much." Emanuel is poised to run for mayor of Chicago.

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13 Comments

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ladyromanc

And now we see why she was installed, recusing herself on nearly half the cases coming before her already. So much for taking a stand, making a difference, being a judge standing up for true justice.

October 04 2010 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JANINE

After reading some of the comments on here about how great Kagan is in their opinion. You are very naive, and need to read your history. She is a Progressive Liberal, just like the President, and the Progressive Democrats and Republicans that gave her a pass. Why do you think these people in Congress and Senate are being replaced by the normal American Majority that know right from wrong (leftist). They care about themselves and not the people, just like Kagan. After they are telling you what to eat, drink, drive, live, say, and do, and strip you of all your money in taxes. We will see what you will be saying then. If you can't see they are trying to kill off the middle class, you are blind. The Elite want the uber-rich and the poor, meaning the normal people like ourselves as the poor. You will end up a slave in your own country to the elite rich's dictates. Working for slave labor paychecks, and paying out most of it for taxes. So the rich can live like kings on your backs and labor. Wake the heck up and take off your blinders, research and read some history, it is repeating itself again. Progressive ideas has brought down many a mighty empire in the past, over and over again, and it is happening to America now. If you let it happen, you will have to explain your actions to your children, and grandchildren in the future, you will be at fault.

October 02 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
linmarco

The president chose this woman for the high court. She was approved by the senate as is required by the constitution (ARTICLE II, Section 2), and now she is being sworn in. So what's the big deal? There are some people that couldn't be pleased with a free pass from St. Peter. They are perpetual complainers and you find them on both sides of the political spectrum. When they can't base these complaints on law or fact they they then resort to their emotions and feelings.The truth is the world at large doesn't give a damn about anyone's feelings theirs included. If it did there wouldn't be so much misery in it. This nation's greatness is to be found in and among its people and their willingness to follow the rule of law and not in the President or any elected or appointed official. The same people that do all of this whining will have a chance, because of the rule of law, to boot this president out of office come 2012 and they still bitch and whine. Solve that one.

October 02 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
swmazul

Yuck! She'll do just as Obama tells her to.

October 01 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
RALPH

And oh yes, incidently she's the judge that decided that obama's citizenship was a non issue.......... Play the game, get the reward.

October 01 2010 at 7:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to RALPH's comment
libsareright

And a very wise decision on her part.

October 01 2010 at 7:54 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
mclapp603

His citizenship is a non issure. His life history has been investigated by every right wing organization in this world and proof has been provided time and time again. Be honest with yourself and finally admit you can't stand the fact that a young, well educated Mixed Race man has been elected as President of the United States of America. The greated Nation in the world with a diverse population representing almost every nation on earth. A Nation many people all of the world would love to call home. We call ourselves a Christian Nation but we are guaranteed the freedom to worship as we see fit our not worship. Nothing has changed when it comes to who has the opportunity to serve on this Court. Personally, I think it should not be a life time position. We need to pray for all of our leader and not let our idealogical differences destroy what has been fought for by black and white people united to keep this country safe and free. May God Bless America

October 02 2010 at 12:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
janekatyt

It would be wonderful if she read the constitution and followed it like the law says. I am sick of judges making their own law by what they feel or think is best for themselves.

October 01 2010 at 7:15 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
ErinBliss

It's wonderful to have this brilliant woman on the bench! I can only hope she'll shake things up enough to make our country a better place! Like it used to be!

October 01 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse -17 rate up rate down Reply
jbanderson4249

This is one of the worst days in history and a very sad day for American justice

October 01 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jbanderson4249's comment
Kirsey

Why? are you not secure with yourself as a man, or just sexist, or a homophobe?? just curious, this woman has done nothing to offend you personally I'm sure. Her politics may not align with yours, but she is going to be a perfect add to the Conservative ******** on the bench already. And before you ask, YES they have offended me personally.

October 01 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse -14 rate up rate down Reply
jsmith3244

Kagan on the Supreme court. If that doesn't give Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and the rest of the Fixed News Crew coronaries, then Obama's re-election certainly will. Thank goodness for the Tea Bag Party! Their absurdities and off-the-wall candidates make Democratic success in 2010 and 2012 a guarantee as reliable as GOP pledges to the rich for their tax cuts while the American Middle Class is ignored and spurned, again!

October 01 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jsmith3244's comment
ptrckkss

Youv've got to be kidding me. No one can be that ignorant.

October 01 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
xonon1

The Tea Party Principles are Fiscal Responsibility,Constitutionally limited government and Free Markets. Their values are Honesty, Reverence, Hope, Thrift,Humility, Charity, Sincerity, Moderation, Hard Work, Courage, Personal Responsibility, Gratitude. No wonder democrats and their supporters don't like them.

October 01 2010 at 7:01 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply

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