Elena Kagan joins the Court

August 5, 2010

On this day in 2010, Elena Kagan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a Supreme Court justice, joining Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second Jewish woman to become a Supreme Court Justice.

An honored graduate of Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Universities, she began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in 1991, becoming a full professor in four years. After working in the Clinton administration from 1995-99, she returned to teach at Harvard in 1999 and became the Dean of Harvard Law School in 2003, the first Jewish woman to do so. She continued to break new ground when she was named the first woman Solicitor General of the United States in 2009 by President Obama.

Kagan's confirmation marked the fourth time in history that a woman had been appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States and the first time in history that three women Justices served on the Court at the same time.


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Elena Kagan is the fourth woman, and second Jewish woman, to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elena Kagan joins the Court ." (Viewed on October 3, 2023) <https://jwa.org/thisweek/aug/05/2010/elena-kagan>.


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