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Elena Kagan was the fourth woman in American history to find her place on the Supreme Court. Sworn in on Saturday, August 7, 2010, President Obama released a press release from Chicago that read in part, “I am confident that Elena Kagan will make an outstanding Supreme Court justice”. She brings with her a wealth of experience and education.

Another historical fact: this is also the first time in history the United States Supreme Court has three women serving simultaneously. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor will share this honor with Kagan, says A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and LawCrossing.com founder.
The vote was 63-37 with only five Republicans voting in her favor.

Justice Kagan is a former Harvard Law School dean and is best known for leadership skills and diplomacy. The Wall Street Journal is asking the question that many are thinking: will this new confirmation weaken Chief Justice John Roberts’ influence? The general consensus is that she will certainly be “an intellectual counterweight” to Justice Roberts. More interesting is the fact many are pointing out that all members attended Ivy League schools. Many say this is not conducive to a well rounded Supreme Court.

Still, with Kagan’s time spent as a Supreme Court law clerk and her time spent in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations in the Senate does provide for a unique position. So what else Justice Kagan accomplished before this incredible new journey? We asked A. Harrison Barnes to give us the highlights.

Born in 1960 in New York City, Elena Kagan attended Princeton University where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1981. From there, she received her master’s at Oxford in 1983 before working for her degree in law at Harvard Law School. She graduated in 1986.

She served as an associate counsel to President Bill Clinton in 1995 and 1996 and before that, she was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. She has spent at least part of her career in private practice and was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall for a year between 1987 and 1988. Before that, she clerked for Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit between 1986 and 1987.

Clearly, she’s enjoyed an incredible career, says A. Harrison Barnes. Her versatility makes her a superb choice for this new position and will certainly mean an exciting new chapter in her life. While it’s sure to be challenging, many Americans believe the right choice was made and that she will continue to serve the legal community as a whole with dignity and respect for the American justice system. As with all new appointments, there’s bound to be controversy that follows her, just as it has every other Supreme Court Justice; still, Kagan brings a lot to the table in this historical appointment.

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