The U.S. Senate last week confirmed Elena Kagan, a former dean of the Harvard Law School and former Clinton administration official, as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the nation’s high court.
Ms. Kagan has extensive experience in education policy, both as a dean of Harvard Law School and through her work on numerous K-12 issues as a domestic- policy aide to President Bill Clinton. Those issues surfaced during her confirmation hearings, as senators asked about her handling of military recruiters at Harvard and about memos she had written on education-related documents while working in the White House domestic-policy office in the 1990s and as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the late 1980s. The memos revealed little about Ms. Kagan’s own views, however.
Ms. Kagan isn’t expected to alter the ideological balance of the court, where her predecessor, retired Justice John Paul Stevens, was seen as a liberal leader.
A version of this article appeared in the August 11, 2010 edition of Education Week as Senate Confirms Kagan to Court