The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] released a bipartisan questionnaire [text, PDF] on Tuesday submitted by Supreme Court [official website] nominee Elena Kagan [official profile; JURIST news archive] regarding her prior experience, financial status, potential conflicts of interest, and various other details of her past. The majority of the questionnaire is made up of various cases handled during her tenure with the solicitor general's office, which is responsible not only for litigation before the Supreme Court, but also for deciding which district court rulings will be challenged in the appeals courts. The questionnaire also contains transcripts of past speeches, her achievements as dean of Harvard, and over two decades of writings, including articles from Princeton's student newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, where she served as a writer and editorial page editor. Kagan submitted the questionnaire on Tuesday along with thousands of pages of documentation supporting her responses [materials]. The writings and speech transcripts were released by the White House [official website] in order for the Senate to gain a better understanding of President Barack Obama's nominee, whose lack of legal writing has left Republicans and many Democrats questioning her views on key issues. Kagan will return to Washington, DC on Wednesday for individual meetings with senators who will vote on her nomination later this summer.
Obama nominated [JURIST report] Kagan to the Supreme Court last week. If confirmed by the US Senate [official website], Kagan would replace Justice John Paul Stevens [official profile; JURIST news archive] when he retires [JURIST report] at the end of the current term. Obama said [transcript; video] that Kagan "is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost legal minds." Speaking to the press, Kagan described the nomination as an "honor of a lifetime." Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [official website] congratulated Kagan on her nomination but warned [statement] that the Senate would not "rush to judgment." If confirmed, Kagan will become the youngest justice and the fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.