Meet Elena Kagan


The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the Jewish woman who could be President Obama’s first pick to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court — and why even many conservatives like her:

Reporting from Washington — If there is a Supreme Court candidate with inside connections, it is Elena Kagan, the Harvard Law School dean who was recently named U.S. solicitor general.

Kagan, 49, is not widely known for legal writings or for taking a stand on a controversial issue. And she has never argued a case in the federal courts. Yet, in her career in academia and in the Clinton White House, she has worked with nearly everyone who counts inside President Obama’s legal circle, including then-professor Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.

Those who know her well say she has the intellect, insight and personality to succeed on the Supreme Court. …

And unlike nearly all the other potential nominees, Kagan is not likely to face sharp attacks from conservatives. At Harvard, she won glowing praise from prominent conservatives for bridging the ideological divide.

"Of all the good people Obama is considering, Elena is the really outstanding one," said Harvard’s Charles Fried, who served as solicitor general for President Reagan. "It’s clear where her heart is" — she is no conservative — "but she respects everyone and makes the conservatives feel comfortable," he added.

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