As Harvard Law School’s first female dean and the first woman ever to serve as U.S. solicitor general, Elena Kagan ’86 has made a habit of making history. On Oct. 1, Kagan sat on the far right-hand side of the Supreme Court’s courtroom in a chair first used by Chief Justice John Marshall, poised to make history once again at her formal investiture ceremony.
Before an overflow crowd of students and faculty in the Ames Courtroom, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan ’86 and HLS Dean Martha Minow engaged in a wide-ranging conversation about the current high court, Kagan’s storied career, and other issues during the Honorable S. William Green Lecture in Public Law, established by Patricia Freiberg Green in honor of her husband Congressman Bill Green ‘53.
In an Aug. 2 interview at the Aspen Institute, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ‘86 spoke about life as a Supreme Court justice, cameras in the courtroom, and interpreting the law. She was interviewed by Elliot Gerson, a former law clerk to former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart.
Harvard Law School Spring Reunions this year brought back a record number of alumni, nearly 800. Among them were U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy ’61 and Elena Kagan ’86, the law school’s former dean.
In a relaxed and often-humorous conversation before a packed room of more than 750 of their fellow Harvard Law School alumni, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy ’61 and Elena Kagan ’86 on Saturday shared personal stories and offered a rare glimpse into the Court’s very private world, in a special reunion event moderated by HLS Dean Martha Minow.
This recent op-ed by HLS Professor Noah Feldman, “Supreme Court Sibling Rivalry: Will Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan elbow each other to greatness?” appeared in the November 8 edition of Slate Magazine.
Of the 39 law school graduates who are serving as clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court justices and retired justices in the 2010-2011 term, 11 hail from Harvard Law School—the highest number from a single law school this year.
As a legal fellow funded by the HLS Office of Public Interest Advising and a Heyman Fellowship, Tom Ferriss ’11 became an expert on the work of then Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan, flagging issues that might draw political attention during her Senate Confirmation hearings.
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow’s op-ed, entitled “Also confirmed: Marshall’s legacy,” appeared in the August 8, 2010, edition of The Boston Globe. According to Minow, the appointment of Elena Kagan’86 to the Supreme Court serves as a reminder of Marshall’s enduring legacy and most significant contribution to American law: his successful argument of Brown v. Board of Education.
President Barack Obama ’91 hosted a White House reception in honor of Elena Kagan ’86, who was confirmed to be the next Justice on the United States Supreme Court on August 5, 2010. The Senate confirmed the former Harvard Law School Dean and Solicitor General by a vote of 63-37. With her confirmation, Kagan becomes the 20th Harvard Law School alumnus to serve on the Court.