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(NECN: Washington) - Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown this afternoon introduced Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the opening day of her confirmation hearings for her nomination to the Supreme Court.
"Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Sessions, members of the Judiciary Committee, I am pleased to join you to uphold a long-standing tradition by introducing Elena Kagan of Massachusetts to the committee. First, though, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to Senator Byrd's family during this difficult time.
Although I served only briefly with Senator Byrd, I was well aware of the deep and abiding commitment he showed to the people of West Virginia and the reverence that he felt toward the United States Senate. I have enormous respect for the service he has given to his state and to our country.
I was also saddened to hear of the passing of Martin Ginsburg, the husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I offer my condolences to Justice Ginsburg and her family.
I wish to congratulate Ms. Kagan on her nomination and it is an honor to introduce her today. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kagan last month and found her to be an impressive and pleasant individual. I indicated then that I looked forward to attending the Judiciary Committee's hearings to learn more about her record, philosophy, and qualifications.
As an attorney myself, I recognize an impressive legal resume when I see one. There is no doubt that Ms. Kagan has gone far since graduating from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1986.
Following her law school days in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ms. Kagan clerked for an appellate court judge and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. She then entered private legal practice at a prestigious Washington, DC law firm, before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, where she earned tenure in 1995.
From 1995-1999, Ms. Kagan served in the Clinton Administration, first as Associate White House Counsel and then in positions with the Domestic Policy Council.
In 1999, Ms. Kagan returned to Massachusetts to join the faculty of Harvard Law School, where she would later become Dean and Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of Law. While at Harvard, Ms. Kagan's article "Presidential Administration" was named the year's top scholarly article by the American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.
President Obama nominated Ms. Kagan to be Solicitor General on January 5, 2009. I am very proud that our nation's first female Solicitor General has such deep roots in Massachusetts. If confirmed, Ms. Kagan would be the third woman on the Supreme Court and only the fourth in the history of the court.
As Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan frequently represents the United States before the Supreme Court. She has argued several high-profile cases before the Supreme Court and was recently victorious in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, which held that Congress's prohibition of "material support or resources" to Foreign Terrorist Organizations is constitutional.
Ms. Kagan is undoubtedly a brilliant woman who has served her country in a variety of capacities. She has made significant contributions to Massachusetts, and I thank her for that.
This committee is about to embark on one of the most serious duties that the Senate is constitutionally tasked with: vetting the qualifications, temperament, and philosophy of a lifetime appointment.
I look forward to Ms. Kagan's responses to the committee's questions. I know that I have some of my own, and I am quite sure that my colleagues here today do as well. Our constitutional duty of "advice and consent" is imperative and should not be taken lightly.
In closing, I look forward to a thorough and fair examination of Ms. Kagan's record.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Ranking Member, for your leadership and tireless efforts in this Committee and in the United States Senate."