Obama nominates Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court

President Barack Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, saying she will demonstrate independence, integrity and passion for the law.

If confirmed by the Senate, Elena Kagan will become the 3rd woman on the high court. Obama introduced her Monday in the White House's East Room. He called her "my friend" and one of the nation's foremost legal minds.

Elena Kagan would be the 1st justice with no experience as a judge since William H. Rehnquist and Lewis F. Powell Jr. joined the court in 1972.

She has clerked for Thurgood Marshall, worked for Bill Clinton and was the 1st female dean of Harvard Law School. She is also the 1st woman to serve as the top Supreme Court lawyer for any administration.

When she was confirmed as solicitor general in 2009, only 7 Republicans backed her.

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the following statement about the nomination: "As I made clear when I supported her confirmation as Solicitor General, a temporary political appointment is far different than a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court."

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