I join with many others in applauding President Obama’s choice of Elena Kagan to be his nominee to the Supreme Court.
I think for the LGBT community, she is a great choice even though she is considered a moderate. She clearly is a brilliant attorney and scholar — and she understands the broad scope of issues that American’s are facing from her life experiences.
Having not been a justice before, she has few public opinions that we can look at. She did say during her hearings for solicitor general that she did not believe there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But I for one don’t believe that will be an indicator on how she will vote on the issue, depending on what form it reaches the court.
She stood against the so-called Solomon amendment, which required universities that received federal funding to cooperate with the military recruiters on campus, and filed a friend of the court brief opposing it. In the brief, she argued that the ban on gays in the military violated the law school’s right to prohibit employers who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation from getting help from the school to recruit. Kagan further stated that the military’s ban on gays was, “a moral injustice of the first order.”
We have often found that once on the bench, Supreme Court justices surprise us and the president that nominates them. But Kagan’s life experience — growing up in New York, her clerkship for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, her time in the Clinton administration and her time at Harvard University — can only lead me to think that in the years to come the LGBT community will believe that Justice Kagan is a great asset to the court.