Reports: President Obama to Name Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Pick

BY Dave Gustafson  May 9, 2010 at 11:08 PM EST

Elena Kagan;AFP/Getty

The Associated Press and major news networks reported late Sunday that President Obama plans to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

The AP cited an unnamed person familiar with the decision. The president is expected to formally announce his pick at 10am ET at the White House.

Elena Kagan, 50, is the U.S. Solicitor General, charged with arguing on behalf of the government in front of the Supreme Court.

A former dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan had been widely reported to be on the short list of potential nominees. If her nomination is confirmed, she would be one of three sitting female Supreme Court justices — a first in U.S. history.

Known as a moderate, President Obama nominated Kagan to serve in her current post as solicitor general early in 2009, and she won Senate confirmation by a vote of 61-31.

However, she would also be the first justice in some 40 years to ascend to the bench of the nation’s highest court without judicial experience.

Politico reports that the president sought an intellectual match for more conservative-leaning members of the Supreme Court:

White House aides also have signaled that Obama believes Kagan could provide a forceful, effective counterweight to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, and perhaps even be the bridge to bring Justice Anthony Kennedy onto the liberal side in narrow 5-4 decisions.

The Washington Post has compiled a biographical chart on Kagan, along with key documents from her 2009 confirmation hearings, here.

The New York Times has an interactive timeline of milestones in Kagan’s career here.

And SCOTUSblog has compiled an in-depth story on her career and legal experience here.

While President Obama was mulling his choice, the NewsHour talked to legal analysts about his possible short list and the issues at stake with this pick. Watch that below: