In what was certain to be the case, today the Senate approved President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Beginning her term in October, she will be replacing retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Only five Republicans and one Democrat voted against her, making her the third woman to currently serve on the court and the fourth to ever do so.
Women rights advocates have to be proud of the president today, as Kagan is the second woman to be confirmed under his administration so far. The failed pitch of being “a uniter, not a divider” during Bush’s 1st campaign, his appointment of 2 cookie cutter right-wing conservatives to the court clearly threw that notion right out of the window (as if everything else prior to hadn’t already done so). Nevertheless, Kagan’s nomination was met with the same political rhetoric that we’ve heard time again and should expect to hear forever more, regardless of which president from whichever political party appoints whomever. I can’t recall the last time a president’s nomination to the court getting denied. I vaguely recall some instance of it maybe happening under the Clinton administration.
I anticipate Kagan will soon be further demonized by anti-abortion and anti-gay groups, who suspect that she will likely produce votes that will hinder their efforts. These issues will certainly come before her during her term.