Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, United States
|| April 28, 1960
Dec 11, 2010 01:30pm
Caucasian - Jewish - Anti-Gay Marriage - Pro-Affirmative Action - Judaism - Disputed -
|Info||Elena Kagan (born April 28, 1960) is dean of Harvard Law School and Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of Law at Harvard University. She was previously a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. |
Kagan was born in New York City. She graduated from Hunter College High School in 1977, earned an A.B. (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1981, an M. Phil. from Worcester College, Oxford University, in 1983, and a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School in 1986. She was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
She was a law clerk for Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In private practice, Kagan was an associate at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Williams & Connolly.
She launched her scholarly career at the University of Chicago Law School, teaching alongside Barack Obama. She became an assistant professor in 1991 and a tenured professor of law in 1995.
Kagan's scholarly work focuses on administrative law, including the role of the President of the United States in formulating and influencing federal administrative and regulatory law. Her 2001 Harvard Law Review article, "Presidential Administration," was honored as the year's top scholarly article by the American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, and is being developed into a book to be published by Harvard University Press. Kagan has also written on a range of First Amendment issues.
From 1995 to 1999, Kagan served as President Bill Clinton's Associate White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
1999 Judicial nomination
On June 17, 1999, President Clinton nominated Kagan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to replace James L. Buckley, who had taken senior status in 1996. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman Orrin Hatch scheduled no hearing, thus killing her nomination. When Clinton's term ended, she and Allen Snyder were unconfirmed nominees for the D.C. circuit court.
In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated first Miguel Estrada and later John G. Roberts to the seat to which Kagan had been nominated; Roberts was confirmed in 2003 but resigned in 2005 upon his confirmation as Chief Justice of the United States. The seat to which Kagan had been nominated remained vacant in early 2009.
Dean of Harvard Law School
Lawrence Summers appointed Kagan the first woman dean of Harvard Law School in 2003. She succeeded Robert C. Clark who had served as dean for over a decade. The focus of her tenure has been improving student satisfaction through cosmetic changes and creature comforts, such as free morning coffee, constructing new facilities, and reforming the first year curriculum. She has been credited for employing a consensus-building leadership style which surmounted the school's previous ideological discord.
She also kicked off a $400 million capital campaign, "Setting the Standard," in 2003. It ended in 2008 with a record breaking $476 million raised, 19% more than the original goal. Kagan is also credited with overcoming ideological disputes among the Law School faculty that had hindered new faculty appointments. She has made a number of prominent new hires, increasing the size of the faculty considerably.
Her name was briefly mooted to replace Summers as president of Harvard.