Human Rights Campaign Endorses Solicitor General Elena Kagan for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
“Elena Kagan’s record indicates she may be more familiar with how laws and policies affect the LGBT community than any individual previously nominated to serve on the Supreme Court”
WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, endorsed Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
“Elena Kagan has demonstrated her understanding of the Constitution and the protections it provides all Americans” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “She has articulated a commitment to the substantive protections of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution – an issue of the utmost importance to the LGBT community. We are confident that Elena Kagan is well qualified to become our nation’s next Supreme Court justice.”
In her testimony this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan recognized the constitutional right to privacy found in the 14th amendment, which was first articulated in Griswold, and she articulated her belief that Griswold is settled law. Griswold is important to the LGBT community because it lays the foundation for recognition of the fundamental rights of LGBT individuals.
In addition, Kagan’s record shows she has worked on LGBT issues during many phases of her career. While in the Clinton White House, she worked on LGBT issues ranging from expanding hate crimes legislation to preventing employment discrimination to increasing funding for HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. As Dean of Harvard Law School (HLS), Kagan supported the LGBT community and passionately defended HLS’s sexual orientation anti-discrimination policy when it conflicted with the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law – a law she called a “a profound wrong – a moral injustice of the first order.”
“We are impressed by Elena Kagan’s passionate criticism of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law, her support of LGBT students while Dean of Harvard Law School and her involvement in LGBT issues during her tenure as part of the Clinton White House,” said Solmonese. “Elena Kagan’s record indicates she may be more familiar with how laws and policies affect the LGBT community than any individual previously nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.”
We commend the President for his commitment to diversity and expanding the number of women on the Supreme Court. Diversity on the Supreme Court brings a broader view of the way that the law affects real people, including LGBT people. Once confirmed, Kagan will be the fourth woman to serve on our nation’s highest court and will be the third woman sitting on the current Supreme Court, marking the highest representation of women on the Supreme Court in its history.
Wednesday marked the end of Kagan’s questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A Committee vote is expected sometime after the Fourth of July Congressional recess.
When President Obama announced his nomination of Kagan, HRC applauded the President’s selection. You can read the release from May 10th here. Now that Kagan’s confirmation hearing has concluded, HRC is prepared to formally endorse the nominee. Learn more about federal judicial nominations and follow our work on these crucial issues on HRC’s Equality in the Courts by visiting: www.hrc.org/EqualityInTheCourts.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.