I've been loving the coverage of Elena Kagan's youthful challenge of her rabbi over her right to have a bat mitzvah. I love it because it confirms what I've always believed -- that the chutzpah of young girls is not just pre-teen attitude but a sign of inner strength and a harbinger of great things to come (and I say this not only in a self-serving way as a former obnoxious girl-child or as the mother of a burgeoning one).
It’s common knowledge that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is Jewish, and except for some handwringing over the fact that her appointment would mean the Court would be made up entirely of Jews and Catholics, her Jewish identity is a non-issue. Unlike the debates over Justice Sotomayor’s ethnicity, no one is worried that Kagan’s status as a “wise Jewess” will color her judgment. Her sexual orientation, however, is another story.
It’s hard not to get excited about the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If seated, she would bring the number of women on the Supreme Court to three, the number of Jewish women to two, and the total number of Jews on the bench to three. On paper, Kagan’s a great choice. An Upper West Side girl who went to public school and then off to Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she became the first woman to be named the Dean of the Law School. And then she became the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.
We at the Jewish Women's Archive were thrilled to watch President Obama officially nominate Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would be the third woman on the Supreme Court and the fourth woman Supreme Court Justice in American history! She would also join Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second Jewish woman on the court.
Mere minutes after news of Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement went public two weeks ago, speculation about his replacement began. As Republican lawmakers declared their opposition to all and any hypothetical candidates and the Obama administration played coy while strategically leaking information to the media, political junkies began to analyze the President’s “shortlist”: those few candidates strongly rumored to be up for the job. The initial conventional wisdom pointed to three contenders: Appeals Court judges Diane P. Wood and Merrick B. Garland, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan.