UPDATE: President-Elect Obama has officially announced the nomination of Kagan along with three other posts at the Department of Justice. The text of the announcement is available here.

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According to an email sent this morning to students and faculty at Harvard Law School, incoming President Barack Obama intends to nominate Dean Elena Kagan as Solicitor General. Kagan, 48, clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall during the October 1987 term and later taught at the University of Chicago School of Law at the same time as Obama.  She served in the Clinton White House from 1995 to 1999, and, after moving to Harvard Law School, was named Dean in 2003. Kagan has also been mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee under a Democratic adminsitration (see here). Kagan has not previously argued before the Supreme Court.

The text of the email appears after the jump.

Dear colleagues and friends:

I am writing to all of you — the community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Harvard Law School — to let you know that today President-elect Barack Obama will announce his intention to nominate me to serve as Solicitor General of the United States. If confirmed by the Senate, I will resign the deanship of the Law School and take a leave of absence from the faculty.

I have accepted this nomination because it offers me the opportunity, working under the leadership of the President-elect and his nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder, to help advance this nation’s commitment to the rule of law at what I think is a critical time in our history. I am honored and grateful, awestruck and excited, to be asked to contribute to this most important endeavor. And perhaps, for me, it adds a special touch of sweetness to the occasion that the person making the nomination, in whose capacity for greatness I deeply believe, is himself a member of the group to which I am writing.

At the same time, I feel today real sadness — a sense of loss of what, if confirmed, I will be leaving that is every bit as strong as my sense of anticipation of what will be to come. Now isn’t the time for me to attempt a grand wrapping-up or final farewell; I don’t in any way want to presume the outcome of the Senate’s consideration. For the present, I’ll say only this: it has been both the joy and the privilege of my life to serve as dean of this most wondrous law school. I love it, and I love the extraordinary community of people — you — who make it up. I look forward to staying in close touch.

My warmest wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Best,
Elena

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