May 10th, 2010
10:09 AM ET
13 years ago

BREAKING: Obama taps Elena Kagan for Supreme Court


President Obama announced Monday that he's picked Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Obama took a key step in cementing his judicial legacy Monday, nominating Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, the 50-year-old Kagan will become the 112th Supreme Court justice. She would be the third woman on the nine-member bench and the fourth in the history of the court. Her confirmation also would mean that the Supreme Court would have no Protestant justices for the first time in its history. Kagan, who is Jewish, would join six Catholic and two Jewish justices; Stevens is Protestant.

Related: Watch President Obama's announcement.

Kagan, a native New Yorker, was widely reported to be the front-runner for the nomination. She was a finalist for the high court vacancy last year when Justice Sonia Sotomayor was selected to replace the retiring David Souter.

Kagan received her law degree from Harvard University, where she later served as dean of the law school. She previously served in the Clinton administration as associate White House counsel.

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Filed under: Elena Kagan • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    How long will this person be contested in congress .

    May 10, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    Ah it's just so much fun seeing the right-wing radical fundamentalist extremist lemmings all get in a froth-mouth screaming rage . . . and then lose!

    Remember when they used to claim that Republicans were happier than Democrats? Wonderful comedy.

    And in the next election, when it bcomes obvious that the they did nothing but split the vote and let liberals and moderates win, the Tea Party will go the way of Ralph Nader.

    Call them the Nutsi Party . . . though I do feel sorry for all those conservatives with brains who are disgusted at the trends within their party.

    May 10, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    Good Luck Elena. I'm proud of you and happy for you.

    May 10, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Monrob

    Hillary Clinton would have been better.

    May 10, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Jaybally

    Wrong !!! Best pick is Colin Powell .

    May 10, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. sue


    Are you now going to stop this. Already out trying to vilify her. This
    is un believable . BUT WHAT WOULD WE EXPECT FROM THE PARTY OF NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 10, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. DJ

    So, why is this slant on the religious aspect of the court trying to come into play? I mean where is the separation of church and state? I could give a hoot about their religious affiliation because they are not suppose to be looking to it when deciding court cases. JUST THE FACTS AND THE RULE OF LAW!!!

    May 10, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. jeff jackson, alabama

    This woman has a great educational
    background in law. But it seems like to
    be on the highest court in the land you
    should have alot of experience on the
    bench. Where is all that experience ?

    May 10, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Good luck with this nominee Mr. President.

    If the GOP can get away with it they wil have the Supreme Court in full session with just EIGHT judges.

    May 10, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. alwaysindepenent

    If obama likes her, I'm afraid she will not be good for America.

    May 10, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. fctx

    another "unknown" being put into a place of supreme importance. hearings will be interesting.

    May 10, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Margaret

    I applaud Obama for picking another woman to hold this most esteemed post. I ask my lesbian brothers and sisters to support her nomination even though she if forced to live in the closet.

    Thank you Mr President!

    May 10, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Dystopiax

    Elena Kagan is a nice person. She loves the law and admires the Supreme Court, notwithstanding the debacle of crowning George Bush in 2000, by a party line vote, and quids pro quo for the winning team. Right now, the People have a desperate need for a court with philosophical depth, and for a justice who is a polymath in the Humanities, not the former dean of a law school. If we're going there, how about Anita Hill?

    As we have found out, President Obama has a Nobel Prize in Shallowness, some feel he's barely even demonstrated much competence as a practicing lawyer, and (if you remember your Peter Principles) that disables him from being able to SEE what we need. It's like Albert Alligator from Pogo.

    I have no animosity towards Ms. Kagan but she is the wrong person at the wrong time, and her confirmation could be as much a mistake as was the election of the incumbent President. In 2008 I never thought I would need to be writing these words.

    May 10, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. martraco

    Obama should have nominated Sarah Palin. That would have forced the Republicans to either admit that she's not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice (which is readily apparent), or to expose themselves for what they are- toadies for the Tea Party. At the very least it would have afforded us a summer of hilarity.

    May 10, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Ann

    Inexperienced and liberal activist

    May 10, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. CitizenS

    Republicans are furious and raising the red flags they will fight this nomination by mention of political preference and inexperience on the bench. Well, if there are more than one justice of the Supreme Court, how can she not interpret the law as it is written? If experience on the bench is concerned then how have justices in the past with many years of experience made decisions based on their personal experience and not the law when they have not necessarily tried a particular case? She knows the protocol of court just as other outsiders did prior to getting the job, she is obviously capable by the mere fact she has been selected for the important professional positions she has been selected for in the past. Get over it GOPers, Obama may yet have another justice position to fill before it is all over with so truly be fair for such an important position.

    May 10, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Obama the liar

    at least the socialist-in-chief didn't nominate the liberal LOONS Diane Wood or Sidney Thomas.

    May 10, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. A Winning Game Plan

    My question is who will the President tap to replace her in the newest "pipeline position" for the Supreme Court .... Solicitor General.

    I trust he will select a highly talented, younger (late 30s) LIBERAL democrat that can be elevated to the Federal Judiciary in 5 years just before his 2nd term ends.

    Then, in 2017, a President Hillary Clinton can name that person to the Supreme Court to replace Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia.

    May 10, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Lets expose Rush Limbaughs staff.

    Great pick President Obama.

    May 10, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Bill

    Another case where one unqualified office holder selects another unqualified office holder and the further erosion of the country continues. When will it end?

    May 10, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. joe

    What is the "best political team" on television gonna do?

    May 10, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |