Like all Supreme Court Justices before her, Elena Kagan stood in front of the Senate confirmation committee and spoke her case on why she should join the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court of the United States of America. At the Senate confirmation hearings Monday, Kagan gave her testimony and promised to be an impartial member of the court. She also prepared herself for the questions that were coming her way from many of the Senate, some of which that were not pleasant. For Kagan, most democrats embraced her as the selection and many of her views but she also stood her ground against many Republicans who felt that her liberal leanings could affect her judgment as a Justice.
Away from all of this, in the session Kagan seemed cool and collected as she spoke of the Supreme Court of the United States as a “wondrous institution” that worked with and was sometimes limited by the power of the constitution. She also went on to speak well of the man she plans on succeeding – Justice Paul Stevens by saying that she hopes to follow in his footsteps and see both sides of the arguments that would be bestowed on her when she’s on the court. Now, as collected as she was during the sessions there were still many who argued that she has focused more on politics than that of law in her past being that she herself had never been a judge. These arguments were met with educated banter and Kagan defended herself and her choice for being the next Supreme Court Justice as well as many expected she would. If the Senate confirmation hearings were any indication it seems that Kagan will be the next member of the court, and fair and impartial justice at that.
Filling a vacant Supreme Court seat is always a challenge for a President. There’s literally dozens of names that the Commander In Chief has to pick from, all of which are highly qualified. Each name is thought over, argued, and debated by everyone and anyone in the political circle, and rightfully so. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and whatever selection is made will directly affect the citizens of the United States.
His pick will have to be approved by Congress and this will require more debate on the subject. President Obama isn’t a stranger to this process (President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor in May of 2009 to replace the open court justice seat left by justice David Souter). President Obama is about to have this process happen to him all over again when he nominates his pick for new Supreme Court Justice to replace John Paul Stevens. Despite the long list of qualified individuals, many are saying that the President has already chosen his pick for the seat and will announce who that is come Monday.
The word in Washington is that President Obama is expected to nominated Solicitor General and former law dean of Harvard, Elena Kegan. This isn’t a surprise for many in Washington considering that Kegan has been the frontrunner since the news of Stevens stepping down was announced a few weeks ago. Reports have it that the pick is so expected in Washington that if Kegan isn’t named to the Supreme Court by next week many will be nothing less than shocked.
Whomever the President picks for the seat, it’s bound to be an interesting move that will say much about where he hopes the Supreme Court will be going in the upcoming years and how they will judge the laws they will be upholding.