The Case for Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court

Solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan would make a superb Supreme Court justice. If the president is looking for someone who is intelligent, independent, and young, and who will bring unique experiences that will immediately enable her to impact the current court, Kagan is his choice. She has always overcome challenges by those who would underestimate her talent because of her age or gender. These doubts have never prevented her from being a productive and respected scholar, teacher, and public servant. Kagan served with distinction at Harvard Law School and as associate White House counsel in the Clinton administration.

She has good judgment, surrounds herself with great people, and is willing to make persuasive arguments to her colleagues to find middle ground. She writes with both clarity and lucidity to make her points clear and convincing. The Supreme Court has not had a nonjudge in quite a while. The range of talents that Kagan has exhibited as a professor, law-school dean, and as the first woman to be solicitor general makes it clear that she would be an outstanding addition to this court, and over the next quarter century will have a profound impact on the direction of the court's jurisprudence.

Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.