President Barack Obama ’91 hosted a White House reception in honor of Elena Kagan ’86, who was confirmed to be the next Justice on the United States Supreme Court on August 5, 2010. The Senate confirmed the former Harvard Law School Dean and Solicitor General by a vote of 63-37. With her confirmation as the 112th Justice, Kagan becomes the 20th Harvard Law School alumnus to serve on the Court.
During his opening remarks, Obama recognized Kagan as an “acclaimed scholar and presidential advisor,” and he noted “the high esteem in which she’s held by folks across the political spectrum.”
The President also spoke briefly from Chicago, IL on the day of her confirmation (video below), calling it an “affirmation of her character and her temperament,” and characterizing her as an open-minded and even-handed individual who appreciates the law as more than “an abstraction or an intellectual exercise.” Obama also cited the historical significance of her appointment, which will make her the third woman (along with HLS alumnus Ginsburg and recent appointee Sonia Sotomayor) on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in history.
Kagan is the first former dean of the Law School to serve on the Court.