President Barack Obama is to announce on Monday that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is his pick to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kagan, 50, clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall and is the former dean of Harvard Law School. She would be the fourth woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the Senate.
Obama nominated her to serve in her current post as solicitor general early in 2009, and she won Senate confirmation by a vote of 61-31. She is the first woman to serve as solicitor general of the United States.
She was widely viewed as a front-runner when Obama was considering candidates for a Supreme Court opening last year, but the president ultimately chose Sonia Sotomayor for the job.
Some liberal critics have said that Kagan’s views on executive power and the treatment of terrorist detainees are too conservative.
However, Republicans are expected to grill Kagan on the topic of gays in the military because of her opposition to on-campus military recruiting while at Harvard, because gays are barred from serving openly in the armed forces.