President Barack Obama Monday will nominate U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, NBC and CNN reported Sunday night.
Kagan, 50, served as Harvard Law School Dean from 2003 to 2009 when she was appointed the top administration lawyer to argue the government’s cases before the high court.
Kagan sailed through the Senate confirmation process 61-31 as the first woman to serve as solicitor general.
Kagan has a reputation as a feisty advocate, once telling Justice Anton Scalia he was wrong on a point of law that was being considered earlier this year in the Supreme Court.
If confirmed, Kagan will replace Justice John Stevens, 90, who will retire at the end of this court session. The Supreme Court will return the first Monday in October to consider a flurry of controversial issues on its agenda.
Kagan has never served as a judge and no non-judge has been appointed to the Supreme Court since 1972 with the Senate in that year confirming William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell.
Her background includes being a registered Democrat, Jewish, a graduate of Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law School.
Her legal career includes member, Research Advisory Council at the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute, 2005-2008; Deputy assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy, 1997-1999; Associate counsel to President Clinton, 1995-1996; Special counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden, 1993; Law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987-1988; Staff member, Dukakis for President Campaign, 1988.
Pete Williams of NBC and John King of CNN both said Kagan would be subject of aggressive questioning by Republic senators even though her nomination is expected to be confirmed unless some unforeseen flaw in her resume or personal life surfaces.
The general consensus among court observers is that Kagan would not upset the political balance on the high court even though some liberals on the far left consider her too conservative on a few pet issues.
Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.