May 18th, 2010
04:54 PM ET
8 years ago

Kagan worth nearly $1.8 million

Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan declared a net worth of nearly $1.8 million in documents released Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kagan, 50, reported almost $740,000 in cash on hand and in banks, as well as more than $820,000 in retirement funds. She reported no financial liabilities.

The financial disclosure was included in a several-hundred-page response submitted by Kagan to the committee's bipartisan questionnaire, a document exploring every high court nominee's academic, legal, and financial record, among other things.

Nine boxes of material were submitted to the committee Tuesday afternoon, and posted online shortly thereafter.

Kagan revealed in her response that she was first told by the White House that Obama was considering her for a Supreme Court appointment on March 5 - a little over one month before Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. Meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and Obama followed on April 27 and April 30, respectively.

Kagan, who also was considered for the vacancy filled by Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, said Obama told her on May 9 that he wanted to nominate her to the high court. Her nomination was publicly announced the next day.

Kagan noted in the questionnaire that she has never performed lobbying activities for any client or organization.

The questionnaire was released shortly after Kagan wrapped up another series of meetings with senators on Capitol Hill - part of the process of laying the groundwork for her upcoming confirmation hearings.

Kagan met with Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Patty Murray of Washington, Al Franken of Minnesota, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

She also huddled behind closed doors with GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Democrats have offered overwhelming praise for the 50-year-old nominee, claiming she would be a fair, independent member of the high court and a worthy replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Republicans have questioned, among other things, Kagan's lack of experience on the federal bench and whether she would act independently of President Barack Obama's agenda.

They've also strongly criticized Kagan, currently the Justice Department's solicitor general, for her efforts to block military recruiters from Harvard University during her time as the school's law school dean because of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The policy, opposed by Obama, prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

If confirmed, Kagan would become the third woman on the current nine-member bench and the fourth woman in the court's history.

Updated: 5:35 p.m.

- CNN's Alan Silverleib, Bill Mears, and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Elena Kagan • Supreme Court
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Mickey, NY


    Move along...nothing to see here...

    May 18, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Rowe

    This is not a big deal. Kagan is a highly qualified working professional who has no family (ie-no kids to spend money on sending them to prep school or through college.)

    Find one single, childless professional who has spent the last 20 years either working for the federal government or teaching at Harvard who is NOT worth at least 1.8 million dollars and THEN you'll have a news story.

    (In fact, in that case the news story would probably be "if she's spent the last 25 years earning a six figure a year salary, WHY is she worth so little? She must be really bad when it comes to handling money. Is somebody BLACKMAILING her over something? Hmmm...")

    May 18, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. H. Charles

    This is just plain stupidity. What does her worth have to do with her being a Supreme Court Justice? CNN, you are slowly dying

    May 18, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Pam

    Big deal! If I added all of my assest together I am probably worth 1.3 million but that does not mean I am rich. I work for a living and own my own home. I save my money and have no debt. Hopefully I can retire someday but don't try to make this about her bank account. If she had several million that might be a different thing. Come on, 1.8...big deal!

    May 18, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. jeff jackson, alabama

    If she is as smart as Palin
    she will write a book and triple
    that in months.
    But Palin is a beautiful self made
    Not slamming Kagan here , I'm
    just saying.....

    May 18, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Isn't this about where you would expect her to be? I mean unless she made some poor investments she's pretty much normal for someone who been working diligently in a good field of endeavor for quite a few years.

    May 18, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Stacie

    So, now we know she's been successful and invested wisely. She will be a brilliant Supreme Court Justice.

    May 18, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. get real

    Actually, Palin's ghost writer should get the millions, jeff jackson, alabama.

    May 18, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Gummo

    $1.8 million isn't bad. She should be able to afford something better than a Subaru.

    May 18, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Another rich, , Harvard elitist! Just what we need more of in our court system and government...

    May 18, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Gordon Kavanagh

    What is the story here...So what!

    May 18, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. No Incumbents 2010

    This is a lot of money for a career professor and government lawyer. Was this an inheritance? Most public service lawyers would find it impossible to accumulate such a sum on a government salary.

    May 18, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    Good for her. Capitalism does work! Even for those from the party who would like nothing more than to dismantle it!

    May 18, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. File under "Sarcasm"

    So with all that net worth, how much did she earn last year? How much did she pay in taxes? Did she forget to declare rental properties or the use of a free car and driver? Does she have an undocumented alien housekeeper?

    May 18, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Kagan graduated from college, worked for her money and not pander like Sarah, Todd and Bristol Palin which makes them no different than the guy on the street corner asking for donations.

    May 18, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. David

    Supports the fact that she is not so rich she cannot relate to the common citizen, really the minimum amount of money someone of her education and work history would have.

    May 18, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Those in Washington, are all among the wealthy and powerful.

    Precisely why NONE of them relate to the common man in any way.

    May 18, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. JES

    I guess if she gets this job we can add to her retirement.

    I know she has a hard time making ends meet now.

    May 18, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. Len Smith

    That is nothing for the education and the work she could have done to earn a great deal more. Why is it even an issue to report? Sounds like she is more willing to serve her country then to earn the big bucks.

    May 18, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Cynthia - Arkansas

    SO?? She's WORKED and held important positions. We should be proud that she's frugal. All the media does now is try and sensationalized everything. CNN, if we wanted FOX NOISE we would watch them. Please go back to "the most trusted name in news". I really hate the way CNN is going since the election. I can hardly watch it anymore.

    May 18, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. They call me "tater salad"

    Ah!.....The luxury of being an elitist.........Isn't America great?

    May 18, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Why is this anyone's business but hers?

    I haven't made up my mind about Kagan yet, but knowing her net worth has absolutely no bearing on the issue.

    May 18, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Stewart Longfellow

    Then why isn't she "sharing her wealth" like a good little socialist. No democrat should be allowed a net worth more than 5 times the poverty level as a show of solidarity for their cause. They tell us to sacrifice but my oh my aren't a lot of them ever so wealthy..............

    May 18, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Morgan

    Dean of Harvard Law School = $$$

    Solicitor General salary is probably something like $200K.

    May 18, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. Fitz in Texas

    Bet in a few years she'll be worth a whole lot more adding her to that list of those other Limousine Liberals....Obama, Pelosi, Kerry, Dodd, Rangel, Reid and the list goes on. Awww yes, those Limousine Liberals that have made their millions due to 'capitalism'. The system they hate so much that's made them rich.

    May 18, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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