"Kagan assumes a seat historically held by judicial champions of the rights of individuals."
(New York, August 5, 2010) - After the Senate voted to confirm Justice Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal:
"Kagan assumes a seat historically held by judicial champions of the rights of individuals. Until his recent retirement, the seat was held by Justice John Paul Stevens, who was a stalwart protector of liberty and equality. He in turn had filled the seat of Justice William O. Douglas, who authored the Court's decision striking down laws banning the use of contraceptives. And, before Douglas, that seat was held by one of the most brilliant defenders of constitutional rights among the court's pantheon, Justice Louis Brandeis.
"Lambda Legal congratulates Justice Kagan on her historic appointment - it is the first time this country will have had three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Justice Kagan has been a trailblazer in her profession and a distinguished legal scholar and leader for many years. Her outstanding legal career has well prepared her for this appointment. We look forward to her tenure on the bench and hope that she will follow in the footsteps of those who held her seat before her."
Lambda Legal advocated for the Obama Administration to consider nominating judicial candidates who meet four important qualities:
• A demonstrated ability to rule fairly and impartially in cases involving LGBT and HIV issues.
• A willingness and ability to uphold the principles of equality found in the Constitution and personal freedoms for everyone in America, not just a select few.
• A respect for a number of Supreme Court precedents involving the right to privacy, disability rights particularly related to HIV status, and issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation and sex stereotyping.
• Nominees who reflect the nation's diversity, in particular openly LGBT people, women and people of color.