Elena Kagan, Martha Minow, Politics, SCOTUS, Senate Judiciary Committee, Solicitor General's Office, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Congratulations to Associate Justice Elena Kagan!

This should not come as a huge surprise, but Solicitor General Elena Kagan was just confirmed by the Senate as to be the 112th justice of the United States Supreme Court. Kagan, the first woman to serve as Solicitor General, is the fourth woman ever to serve on the Court.

CORRECTION: I replaced “as” with “to be” after receiving this from a former White House official: “I feel compelled to point out that the Senate confirmed Kagan TO BE the 112th justice, after which President Obama likely appointed her AS the 112th justice. Marbury, Madison, etc.”

The vote to confirm Kagan was 63-37. Check out C-SPAN for the full tally (scroll down). Ashby Jones has the highlights:

Fifty-eight Democrats and independents, as well as five Republicans, voted for Kagan. Thirty-six Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against the nominee.

The five Republicans who supported Kagan were Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

The current U.S. Supreme Court lineup (once Kagan is officially sworn in): Chief Justice John Roberts (Bush 43) and Justices Antonin Scalia (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), Clarence Thomas (Bush 41), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Clinton), Stephen Breyer (Clinton), Samuel Alito (Bush 43), Sonia Sotomayor (Obama) and Elena Kagan (Obama).

UPDATE: In case you’re curious, President Obama’s prior SCOTUS nominee, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was confirmed last year by a vote of 68-31, with nine Republicans in support. Three Republicans voted for Sotomayor but not Kagan: Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Christopher Bond (Mo.), and Voinovich (Ohio). Scott Brown (Mass.) — who introduced Kagan at her hearings, by the way — voted against her (but wasn’t in the Senate yet for the Sotomayor vote). So did George LeMieux (Fla.), who replaced Mel Martinez (a pro-Sotomayor Republican).

After the Kagan vote, the Divine Miss K’s successor as Harvard Law School dean, Martha Minow, sent out a celebratory email at HLS….

Here is the message from Dean Minow:

From: Martha Minow
Date: Thu, Aug 5, 2010
Subject: [HLS] Elena Kagan
To: [Harvard Law School community]

The Senate has voted to confirm Elena Kagan’s nomination and she will be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court! I am delighted to extend my most heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes to our colleague, friend, and teacher!

That’s a lot of exclamation points, Dean Minow! But in this case, they are deserved — the Kagan has been unleashed!

Congratulations, Lady Kaga!

Elena Kagan, the 112th U.S. Supreme Court Justice [WSJ Law Blog]
Elena Kagan confirmation vote tally [C-SPAN]
Kagan Vote Screenshot [C-SPAN]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Elena Kagan

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