President Barack Obama will nominate US
Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the New York
Times reported. Kagan is a strong gay ally.
Kagan, 50, will replace retiring
Justice Paul Stevens.
During her 2009 confirmation as
solicitor general, only 7 Republicans backed her. Social
conservatives attacked her as too liberal, arguing that she most
likely supports giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
“Ms. Kagan's extreme rhetoric makes
it highly likely that she also favors same-sex marriage, both as a
matter of policy and as a supposed federal constitutional right,”
opponents – including anti-gay rights stalwarts the American Family
Association and Focus on the Family – warned in a letter.
In a blog post, the anti-gay rights
group Family Research Council helmed by influential social
conservative Tony Perkins prayed against the confirmation of various
Obama nominees, including Kagan: “Please pray over these nominees.
May God move to prevent confirmation of those who will do harm [to]
our nation! May He restrain those who Senate conservatives have
little power to prevent from confirmation!”
As proof they cite a 2005 Supreme Court
challenge to an appellate ruling that permitted law schools to limit
the military's presence at campus recruiting events. Kagan was one
of 40 Harvard Law School professors who signed a friend-of-the-court
brief in support of the ruling.
The brief argued that the military's
“don't ask, don't tell” policy that bans gay troops from serving
openly violates the legal profession's anti-discriminatory policies.
Kagan called the policy “a profound
wrong – a moral injustice of the first order,” in a an email to
faculty and students, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed
with the lower court ruling.
In a written follow-up to her Senate
confirmation hearing, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, asked
Kagan her views on gay marriage. “There is no federal
constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” she responded.
Rumors that Kagan is gay also began to
swirl when her name was first mentioned as a possible candidate.
In a CBS
News item, blogger Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration
aide, wrote if picked Kagan would be the “first openly gay
justice.” Saying he was “applying old stereotypes to single
women with successful careers, the White House chided Domenech, who
apologized for the posting, but refused to retract the allegation.
Supreme Court justices are appointed