Obama picks Kagan as Supreme Court nominee

President Barack Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Monday for the U.S. Supreme Court, sources familiar with the matter said.

Obama picks Kagan as Supreme Court nominee

President Barack Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Monday for the U.S. Supreme Court, sources familiar with the matter said.

"It's Kagan," a Democratic official said when asked about the choice, first reported by NBC News.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kagan, 50, would fill the seat being vacated by liberal Justice John Paul Stevens.

Kagan's appointment will buck a four-decade trend if she is confirmed because all justices in recent decades have been judges.

Kagan has served as a White House adviser during Bill Clinton's presidency and a Harvard Law School dean but never as a judge.

If confirmed, Kagan would be only the fourth woman ever to be a Supreme Court justice.

Her nomination is unlikely to cause a damaging fight in the Senate before congressional elections in November or distract the Obama administration from other issues like jobs, financial regulation and climate change leglislation.

Obama appointed Kagan last year as the first female solicitor general, representing the U.S. government before the Supreme Court. Her initial Supreme Court argument in September was her first in any court.

Obama he wants his choice approved before the start of the high court's upcoming term in October.

The retirement of Stevens, 90, who has been on the court for nearly 35 years, takes effect at the end of the current term in late June.

Democrats control 59 of the 100 Senate seats. A simple majority is needed for confirmation.

Kagan would not be expected to change the court's basic ideological balance. Like Stevens, she would probably side in most cases with the three other liberal justices on the court, which is controlled by a five-member conservative majority.

She would join Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, who Obama appointed last year, as the court's female justices.

The last two justices who had not been judges, William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell, joined the Supreme Court in 1972.

Reuters

Last Mod: 10 Mayıs 2010, 15:36
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