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May 10th, 2010
01:03 PM ET

What you need to know about Elena Kagan

President Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, picking her to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Here is a look at the nation's first woman solicitor general:

Year born: 1960

Hometown: New York (Manhattan)

Experience: Solicitor general; Harvard Law School dean; White House associate counsel

Education: Princeton University; Oxford University; J.D., Harvard Law School

Fun fact: Former law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, who nicknamed her "Shorty"

Top cases argued as solicitor general:

• Campaign finance reform (Citizens United v. FEC, 2009): Congressional efforts to restrict "independent spending" by corporations and unions in federal political campaigns. Supreme Court ruled against the government in January.

• Terror support (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 2010): Whether the government's power to criminalize "material support" of a terrorist organization goes too far in restricting civil liberties. Supreme Court ruling pending.

• Religious monuments (Salazar v. Buono, 2009): Can a war memorial shaped like a cross remain on government parkland, or does it violate the constitutional separation of church and state? Justices ruled for the government, saying the cross should remain.

Read Kagan's Pros and Cons...

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Smith in Oregon

    Obviously she is entirely intended to directly confront Chief Justice Roberts extremely narrow special interests ideology with Elena Kagan's support for All Americans and Main Street. I look forward to historic battles between Elena Kagan and Justice Roberts in the years ahead.

    May 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm |