Solicitor General Nominee Faces Confirmation Hearing Today
Posted Feb 10, 2009 7:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Little opposition has surfaced to solicitor general nominee Elena Kagan, who faces the Senate Judiciary Committee today for her confirmation hearing.
Conservative groups are urging close scrutiny of Kagan, possibly because she is also considered a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court if a vacancy occurs during Barack Obama’s presidency, the Washington Post reports. Kagan is a popular dean at Harvard Law School who is credited with achieving consensus and breaking fundraising records.
Kagan clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, but she has never argued a case in any appeals court or the Supreme Court. All but two years of her career have been in government and academia, the story says. At the University of Chicago, she tried to recruit Obama to a full-time professor position.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has expressed fears that Obama will turn the Justice Department into a a "liberal bastion," according to the Post. He points out that Kagan took a liberal position in the only Supreme Court amicus brief that she has signed. The brief argued against the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment, which required universities receiving federal funding to accept military recruiters.
The story delves into Kagan’s driving history as well as her resumé. She is “such a product of New York City that she did not learn to drive until her late 20s. According to her friend John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John's University, it is a skill she has not yet mastered,” the Post says.