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Jewish organizations praise Kagan’s confirmation

by jta

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Jewish organizations have praised the confirmation of Elana Kagan as the third Jewish justice on the current U.S. Supreme.

The Senate approved Kagan, currently the U.S. solicitor general, in a 63-37 vote Aug. 5.

She joins Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer as Jewish justices on the high court. She becomes the court's 112th justice and the fourth woman to serve, including Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor on the current panel.

Kagan, 50, a New York City native, was an attorney and policy adviser in the Clinton White House for four years. She is a former dean of the Harvard Law School.

President Obama nominated Kagan in May to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, who served on the court for 35 years. Kagan is expected to support the court's more liberal wing, which Stevens led during his time on the court.

Statements by Jewish organizations praising her appointment included:



Robert G. Sugarman, national chair and Abraham H. Foxman national director

We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Solicitor General Elena Kagan on her confirmation as the 112th Supreme Court Justice and the fourth woman to sit on the high court.

Ms. Kagan is well qualified and we are confident that she will serve with distinction as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. We commend the President and the U.S. Senate for choosing and supporting her.



B'nai B'rith International

B'nai B'rith International congratulates Elena Kagan on her Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout her distinguished career as solicitor general, dean of Harvard Law School, and as a legal scholar, Kagan has exceeded in learning, teaching, and implementing the rule of law.

The grandchild of immigrants, Kagan will bring a unique yet familiar history to the nation's highest court.

B'nai B'rith has sent Kagan a letter wishing her much success in her new role as a Supreme Court justice.



Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Mark Pelavin, Associate Director


On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations encompass nearly 1.5 million Reform Jews, I congratulate Justice-designate Elena Kagan on her confirmation. The Religious Action Center worked closely with Justice-designate Kagan on an array of religious freedom, civil rights, and women's rights issues during her time as a legal and policy aide to President Bill Clinton. We found her to be passionate in her commitment to constitutional rights and wise in her strategic judgment. We know that her wit, intellect, and experience will serve her well as she takes on the awesome responsibility of pursuing justice on our nation's highest court.

The Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis did not take a formal position on Justice-designate Kagan's confirmation. Still, the Religious Action Center has been an active participant in the process of considering her record and credentials, encouraging senators to fulfill their constitutional role of "advise and consent." To do this, we lifted up the issue of religious freedom by inviting church/state scholars and advocates to the RAC to review Solicitor General Kagan's record on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment and craft questions that we forwarded to Senate Judiciary Committee members.

We hope, and have every reason to believe, that Justice-designate Kagan will preserve the essential rights and freedoms that the Supreme Court has afforded the American people over time. We wish her wisdom and strength as she takes her seat as the 112th Supreme Court Justice.




Posted by Jack Kessler
08/11/2010  at  09:06 PM
Not to Worry

I have heard complaints that Justice Kagan has no experience as a judge. 

I would point out that Benjamin Cardozo, arguably the greatest judge in American history, not only had never been a judge before his appointment to the highest court of New York, he had never practiced law. 

Much of of what is normative tort law in the United States and most English-speaking countries was laid down by Cardozo.  He did just fine even without prior experience.  So will Kagan.

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