Today the Senate voted 63-37 to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. For the first time in history the court will have three sitting female justices — a critical mass that will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the struggle for women’s equality. NOW officially endorsed Kagan at the close of her confirmation hearings.
Kagan is the second woman appointed to the high court by President Barack Obama, who also appointed Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2009. Kagan will join Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bench when the Supreme Court begins a new term this October.
“NOW eagerly anticipates three brilliant women justices individually and collectively making their mark on a Supreme Court long dominated by men, while making decisions that greatly impact the lives of everyday people,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill. “This is more than a symbolic, inspiring achievement for women — it will be a genuine victory for every woman and girl who benefits from Elena Kagan’s years of service on the high court.”
Once sworn in, Justice Elena Kagan will fill the seat vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Justice Stevens’ tenure on the court was marked by a strong commitment to protecting women’s rights under the law. Said O’Neill: “NOW looks forward to Kagan following in Justice Stevens’ footsteps and serving as a champion for the rights of women, people of color, and all other disadvantaged individuals.”