This will be a brief post to note a turning point in American history. Much like the election of Barack Obama as President, it is difficult to completely appreciate the historic nature of the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court in the same way that it will be appreciated decades from now. But the nomination of Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court is a moment in American history worth noting. Prior to her nomination, women were often nominated to the court as a token selection. Typically only one or two females have sat on the court over approximately the last twenty five years. Barack Obama has nominated two females to fill the first two Supreme Court vacancies of his presidency and, in doing so, he changed the selection of female nominees from a token political move to a normal occurrence. There have now been four women to have served on the court and three are serving currently, making up one third of the nine justices. While she represents the status quo and lack of diversity in terms of her ivy league education and her religion (Judaism), it is nonetheless a good day in this democracy in that the way female nominees to the court (and perhaps in the legal profession generally) has been forever changed.
Elena Kagan is President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. She is a former law school dean at Harvard and has served in the Clinton and Obama administrations. Her latest position is as Solicitor General for the Obama administration in which she argues cases before the Supreme Court. Unlike most recent Supreme Court nominees, Kagan does not have experience as a judge and she has been involved in some controversy. The writers at the Political Panorama weigh in on whether they feel Kagan will be confirmed and whether she should be confirmed.