(Washington, D.C.) The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) today praised Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama's nominee to the U.S Supreme Court, as "an exceptionally qualified" person who is known for fair-mindedness and possesses considerable legal skills. If confirmed, Solicitor General Kagan would fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
"Today, President Obama has nominated an exceptionally qualified woman to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court," said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger.
Elena Kagan was confirmed as Solicitor General of the United States by the Senate just over a year ago. She is the first woman to hold this position in the country's history. Before her appointment as Solicitor General, Kagan had a distinguished academic career. She received tenure at the University of Chicago Law School and then at Harvard Law School and was the first woman to serve as Dean of Harvard Law. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Associate Counsel to President Clinton and as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
"We have known Elena Kagan for many years and have the greatest respect for her outstanding accomplishments, considerable legal skills, and fair-mindedness," Greenberger said.
With Elena Kagan's confirmation, there would be three women Justices on the nine-person Court "“ the most in history. "We applaud the President for selecting a nominee of such accomplishment who would bring a wealth of experience that would help the Court better reflect both the composition of the legal profession and, most importantly, the people of this country," said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell.
If confirmed to replace Justice Stevens, Solicitor General Kagan will have extraordinary shoes to fill. "Justice Stevens was a ringing voice for equal justice on the Court," Campbell said. "He was a force on behalf of people throughout this country when their rights were threatened, when governments sought to intrude into their most personal and private decisions, when statutes were interpreted in ways that disadvantaged the very people they were intended to protect, and when conservative majorities were quick to abandon the Court's own precedents.
"The confirmation process will allow the Senate and the American people the opportunity to learn even more about this very impressive woman and public servant," she added.
The National Women's Law Center has extensive expertise in the legal issues of central importance to women and in how Supreme Court rulings have affected women and their families, in areas such as the constitutional right to privacy, federal anti-discrimination protections that apply at work and at school, the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, and Congress' ability to enact health, safety and economic and social welfare legislation.