Obama names Jewish woman as solicitor general

Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard Law School, would be the first female to serve in the job if confirmed by the Senate.

January 6, 2009 15:05


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Barack Obama has nominated a Jewish woman to serve as his solicitor general. Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard Law School, would be the first female to serve in the job if confirmed by the Senate. The solicitor general represents the US government at the Supreme Court, arguing cases before the court and filing briefs stating the government's position when the government is not a direct party to the case. The solicitor general position is often seen as a stepping stone to a future Supreme Court nomination. Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism director Rabbi David Saperstein praised the appointment of Kagan, whom he dealt with when Kagan was a lawyer and policy adviser in the Clinton White House. "She's the quintessential Barack Obama appointment: She's intellectually brilliant, and politically gifted at finding common ground and finding consensus," said Saperstein, who added that Kagan "knows First Amendment issues very well" and "really knows the Jewish community well."

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