Legal Masterminds Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices

This post is the ninth, and final, in a series of posts about the current U.S. Supreme Court.

Elena Kagan was nominated by President Obama in May 2010, in order to take the place of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. She was confirmed by a vote of 63-37.  She is the first judge without experience to be appointed since Justice William Rehnquist in 1972.

Elena Kagan (born April 28, 1960)

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Princeton University, summa cum laude. She later earned her Masters in Philosophy at Oxford University before graduating from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude.

After law school, she served as a law clerk for a judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and later for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court.

She has also served as a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, and later at Harvard, where she was then named the first female dean.

In 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to the position of Solicitor General, where she was also the first woman to ever hold the position.

While it was speculated that Kagan would be a potential nominee when Justice Souter announced his retirement, it was Sotomayor instead who filled his seat. Kagan was tapped next, viewed by many as a moderate Democrat and a consensus builder.

Kagan Hits The Ground Running

In the opinions she has written, she has been commended for her ability to explain the relevant law and for her strong voice. Her opinions have been considered impressive for not only a newcomer to The Court, but also considering she had no prior judicial experience. One commentator has even stated that she gives Scalia a run for his money.

Here is a list of the opinions she has authored.