Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Wash. Post: Harvard Dean, Chosen as Solicitor General, Goes Before Senators, by Robert Barnes:
When Harvard Law School hosted a huge dinner a few years ago for the conservative Federalist Society, the school's dean, Elena Kagan, received such long and enthusiastic applause that she felt compelled to hold up her arms in mock protest.
"You are not my people," she said to laughter -- and more applause.
Kagan will try to retain the reputation as the liberal whom conservatives could like when the Senate Judiciary Committee today considers her nomination to become the nation's solicitor general, the "10th justice" who represents the government before the Supreme Court and the nation's appeals courts.
President Obama's choice is the first woman nominated for the job, and she has the support of each of the last eight men who have held the title, starting with President Ronald Reagan's solicitor general, Charles Fried, who calls her "awesomely intelligent" and recounted the Federalist Society dinner story for the Senate committee....
But senators may want to know about Kagan's legal philosophy not just because of her pending nomination but for the future. Hers is a name found on most lists of potential Supreme Court nominees, an issue that has become more pertinent because of the ages of some of the justices and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent disclosure that she is being treated for pancreatic cancer.
The woman who would be confirmed as solicitor general in the Obama administration got some pointed questioning Tuesday from senators who may be asked to vote for her for another post -- Supreme Court justice.
Elena Kagan, the Harvard Law School Dean and friend of President Obama, is rumored to be on the "short list" of candidates for the high court and a possible replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the only woman on the court, left-leaning and in questionable health following pancreatic cancer surgery within just this past week.