(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray voted to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kagan was confirmed by a vote of 63-37.
“I was proud to vote for Elena Kagan to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” said Senator Patty Murray. “After meeting with Solicitor General Kagan, hearing her testimony, and examining her record, I am confident that she has the judgment and impartiality to serve our nation honorably. She is thoughtful and fair-minded in her approach to some of the most pressing legal issues we face as a nation. She understands the struggles working families face and the role of the Supreme Court in protecting them. And she is committed to protecting the rights and liberties of all Americans.”
Murray met with Kagan in May. Earlier this week, Murray made the following statement for the record in support of Kagan’s nomination:
proud to support the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
“The Senate has few
responsibilities more important than our Constitutional obligation to advise
and consent on the President’s Supreme Court nominees.
“Supreme Court Justices
are appointed for life, and the decisions they make affect the lives and
livelihoods of every single family across the country.
“From the laws
governing the role of corporations and special interests in our electoral
process, to the rights of women over their own reproductive health—we have seen
clearly over the years the impact of this nation’s highest court.
“So I am very glad that
President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to fill this critical position.
“I met with Solicitor
General Kagan and talked to her about how she envisioned her role on the Court.
“I asked her about her
judicial philosophy, and what she felt the Court’s role was in protecting
ordinary Americans. I followed her testimony before the Senate Judiciary
Committee. And M. President, I was extremely impressed with what she had to
“Elena Kagan has proven
herself to be someone who understands the importance of a fair and independent
approach to rendering justice.
“She is committed to
making sure the voices of families across the country are represented in the
chambers of the Supreme Court.
“And she possesses an
evenhanded view of our justice system that gives me every assurance that any
individual or group from Washington state could stand before her and receive
“Solicitor General Kagan also has a strong legal background and is without
a doubt a highly qualified choice for the Supreme Court.
“Following her graduation from Harvard Law School she served as a law clerk
for Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S Court of Appeals,
before moving on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
“After spending some
time in private practice, Elena Kagan went back into public service to work for
President Clinton on the Domestic Policy Council.
“She then went back to
Harvard Law School to teach and ultimately became the first woman to serve as
Dean of the school, where she cemented her reputation as a fair-minded leader
who reaches out to all sides and builds consensus.
“When President Obama
was elected he called Elena Kagan back into public service to serve as
Solicitor General. In this new role as the so-called ‘10th Justice,
she argued before the court on a broad range
of issues, including a vigorous defense of the government’s right to limit the
influence of corporations and special interests in the electoral process.
I hear some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say that Elena
Kagan lacks the experience to sit on the Supreme Court because she has never
been a judge, I find that a little hard to believe.
have served on the nation’s highest court without having any prior judicial
Republicans alike have expressed the notion that prior judicial experience is
not a prerequisite for serving on the Supreme Court. In fact, for most of the
Court’s history there was a diversity of career experiences represented on the
“Most recently, Chief
Justice Rehnquist never served as a judge before he was nominated to the
“Neither did Justice
Powell. Or Justice White. Or Justices Black, Warren, Jackson, or Marshall.
“So I find it
interesting that the standard was changed with this nomination.
Kagan is clearly qualified, and she is going to make an outstanding Supreme
“Her nomination is also
another step forward toward making sure that we have a Supreme Court that is
reflective of the country whose laws it safeguards.
“We are now on the
verge of having the most women to serve together on the court at any one time. While we still have work to do
to achieve a court that is truly representative of the full diversity of
American experiences, I am proud that we are taking this strong step forward
toward that goal.
meeting with Solicitor General Kagan, hearing her testimony, and examining her
record, I am confident that she has the judgment and impartiality to serve our
nation honorably on the Supreme Court.
“She is thoughtful and fair-minded in her approach to some of the most
pressing legal issues we face as a nation.
“She understands the
struggles working families face and the role of the Supreme Court in protecting
“And she is committed
to protecting the rights and liberties of all Americans.
“So I am proud to represent families from my home state of Washington and I am proud to join with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to cast my vote to confirm Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.”