Obama announces Supreme Court nominee - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Obama announces Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON (ABC)-- President Obama will announce his nomination to the Supreme Court Monday.  A source tells Associated Press it will be Solicitor General Elena Kagan,  the first woman to serve as the top Supreme Court lawyer for any administration and the first female dean of Harvard Law School.

Elena Kagan has spent much of her time in academia teaching the law, rather than arguing cases in the courtroom, as have the three federal appeals court judges she has reportedly beat out for the Supreme Court nomination. 

Last month, President Obama told CNBC that the main things he's looking for in a Justice are fidelity to the law and the constitution and somebody who has the kind of life experience, so they understand how their decisions are impacting ordinary people.

The pick of the 50 year-old Kagan is as much practical and political as it is philosophical.  Kagan, considered a somewhat moderate choice, will replace a liberal stalwart in John Paul Stevens.  The White House is eager to avoid a bitter battle over its court pick, especially with Congressional elections looming in November.

Kevin Madden, a Republican Strategist says, "It's in the Administration's interest and it's in democrats up on Capital Hill's interest to make this a much more smoother process."

Kagan served as White House adviser during the Clinton Presidency and as a Harvard Law School Dean before becoming Solicitor General.  Last year she went through a Senate confirmation for her current position.  If confirmed again, Kagan would be fourth women ever to be a Supreme Court justice and the only person on the current court who has not previously been a judge. 

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says, "I think people will get an understanding of who she is, what her judicial philosophy is.  She's done a wonderful job in the Justice Department."

Justice Stevens will step down this summer, at the end of the Supreme Court term.  The White House hopes to have a new justice on the bench by the beginning of the new term in October.

Online Reporter: Jill Courtney

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