Local Professor Weighs in on Kagan Nomination

(AP) -- The woman President Barack Obama is set to nominate to the Supreme Court is known as sharp, politically savvy and someone who has led a blazing legal career.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan was the first female dean of Harvard Law School and the first woman to serve as the top Supreme Court lawyer for any administration.

   A person familiar with the president's thinking says Obama has made Kagan his choice to succeed legendary liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. Obama will announce his choice at 10 a.m. Monday.

   A source says a central element in Obama's choice was Kagan's reputation for bringing together people of competing views and earning their respect.

   The decision positions the court to have three female justices for the first time in history.

   At 50 years old, Kagan would be the youngest justice on the court if she's confirmed by the Senate.

"While we can't presume to replace Justice Stevens' wisdom or experience, I have selected a nominee who I believe embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law." said President Obama.

If confirmed Kagan would be the fourth woman to serve on the high court. The 50-year old solicitor general would also be the youngest justice on the bench. Kagan is considered almost as liberal as Justice John Paul Stevens. She says being picked is the honor of a lifetime.

"The court is an extraordinary institution in the work it does and can do for the American people."

During confirmation hearings republicans are sure to point out that Kagan never been a judge. and when we sat down with Rockford College Political Science Professor Jules Gleicher, he said she's also sure to be questioned on her stance on the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy.

"The position she took at Harvard Law School with respect to allowing the recruiters from the military to be present at the law school and do recruiting even though the university and she personally disapproved of the don't ask don't tell policy." said Jules Gleicher, Professor of Political Science Rockford College.

Right now democrats have enough votes to confirm Kagan but, not enough to block a Republican attempt to stall her nomination. President Obama wants Kagan confirmed before the court begins its fall session in October.


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