WASHINGTON — Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken praised President Obama’s pick of Elena Kagan to be the next Supreme Court justice. Kagan, the current solicitor general, would replace Justice John Paul Stevens, the retiring leader of the Court’s liberal bloc.
“Solicitor General Kagan is extremely intelligent and she would bring a wide variety of legal experience to the bench,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Over the years she has developed a reputation as a person who brings people together despite their ideological differences. She has shown herself to be a true leader. Like former Chief Justice Rehnquist, she comes to the court with experiences different than those of a judge. I think it is healthy for the court to have one at least justice from outside what has been termed the ‘judicial monastery.'”
Franken called Kagan a “brilliant and superbly qualified nominee.”
“I’m pleased the President has chosen to nominate another woman to the Court, and one who has been confirmed for office by members of both political parties should be confirmed without unnecessary difficulty,” he said.
Both Klobuchar and Franken are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider Kagan’s nomination in the coming months.
President Obama, in announcing Kagan’s nomination in the East Room of the White House, called Kagan “one of the nation’s foremost legal minds.” As solicitor general, Kagan is the administration’s chief lawyer. She’s also a former dean of Harvard Law and once clerked for the iconic Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Several nationals and legal-focused outlets have prewritten profiles of Kagan that dropped this morning. The New York Times’ 4,000-word profile is here. Not to be out-worked on their own beat, SCOTUSblog clocks in with a whopping 9,750-word brief (“More than you ever wanted to know” is the sub-headline) on Kagan, including the predicted votes from every member of the Senate.
Their guess is that Klobuchar and Franken will both vote yes. Judging from their initial reactions, that seems the safe bet for now.