"We commend the Senate for confirming Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. She has demonstrated a understanding of the need for equality for all Americans and her record indicates she may be more familiar with how laws and policies affect the LGBT community than any previously confirmed Justice," said HRC President Joe Solmonese
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today applauded the United States Senate for confirming Solicitor General Elena Kagan as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Senate voted 63-37 with 5 Republicans voting in favor of her confirmation and 1 Democrats voting against it.
"We commend the Senate for confirming Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "She has demonstrated an understanding of the need for equality for all Americans and her record indicates she may be more familiar with how laws and policies affect the LGBT community than any previously confirmed Justice."
On July 1, after thoroughly reviewing her record and her responses to questions posed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, HRC formally announced its endorsement of Kagan. In her testimony before the Committee, she indicated an understanding of the important issues facing many Americans, including those who are LGBT. Her opening statement pointed out what she saw as the command to every justice - the pursuit of Equal Justice Under Law - and argued for a "fair shake for every American." She also took the opportunity to clarify a statement from her Solicitor General confirmation regarding the lack of a constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples as simply an assessment of where the law currently stands.
Kagan's record shows she has worked on LGBT issues during many phases of her career. While in the Clinton White House, she was involved in 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, Kagan supported the LGBT community and passionately defended the school's sexual orientation anti-discrimination policy when it conflicted with the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law - a law she called "a profound wrong - a moral injustice of the first order."
HRC is particularly pleased to see the fourth woman to serve on our nation's highest court and the third woman sitting on the current Supreme Court, marking the highest representation of women on the Court in its history. In addition, she will be the only member of the current Court to have not previously served as a judge - which ends the recent historical anomaly of having a Court comprised entirely of justices that entered the Court from the bench. This increased diversity will help provide greater perspectives to the Court, particularly regarding how the law affects everyday people, including LGBT Americans.
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.
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