19 March 2009

Kagan Named U.S. Solicitor General

In what all the media is hailing as "the first woman to hold the post of solicitor general of the United States," today the U.S. Senate confirmed Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard School of Law, to that post.

As solicitor general, her role is to argue the government's position in court cases, including those cases that come before the United States Supreme Court.

During her confirmation hearings, she was asked whether she believed the Supreme Court's Heller decision was correct in overturning the long-time ban on private possession of firearms by District of Columbia residents (and, presumably, whether the 2A represents an individual right). She replied that her private opinions were not important. That she uphold the position of the U.S. government, based on current law, was more important, she reportedly told senators.

Much of the debate today before the Senate voted to confirm was whether she had enough experience for the job. She has never argued a case before The BIG Court, but then neither had Kenneth Starr or Robert Bork. She worked in the Justice Department during the Bill Clinton administration as a domestic policy adviser.

This will be an interesting appointment to watch . . .

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