Nomination of Kagan to U.S. Supreme Court heats up debate

The nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Monday has been cause for much debate and discussion the past few days.

If Kagan is elected, it will be the first time three women have simultaneously served as Supreme Court Justices. Kagan would join Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court.

“Anytime there’s a chance to appoint a woman to a position such as this, it’s a positive move,” said Andrea Henry, executive director of YWCA. “It’s nice to move toward a balance between men and women.”

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, echoed those sentiments and added that three women on the court still does not reflect the gender demographics of law schools, where women are now the majority.

“She seems to be qualified and have intellect,” Bystrom said. “She’s also not a judge so there are no rulings [she has made] to drag her through the coals.”

But there has been a huge backlash against her nomination, including doubts that she has sufficient experience to be on the court.

Arguments against Kagan stem from her time as Dean of Harvard Law School and as Solicitor General. While at Harvard, Kagan put forth efforts to bar military recruiters from the campus and has objected to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Dirk Deam, senior lecturer of political science, said she is “qualified to be nominated.”

“The best you can hope for is someone who can decide on a case-to-case basis,” Deam said.

Kagan is replacing Judge John Paul Stevens, who has served for the past 34 years. The last day of the court will be sometime near the end of June.