HR Management & Compliance

Kagan’s Arrival Unlikely to Shift Supreme Court’s Overall Balance

The U.S. Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday in a 63-37 vote. As expected, the senators voted along party lines, with only five Republicans voting to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee. The final step in Kagan’s road to the Supreme Court will be a White House swearing-in ceremony.

Kagan will become the 112th Supreme Court justice and will join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the third woman on the current Supreme Court. In the history of the Court, she will be the fourth female justice.

Before her nomination to the Court, Kagan served as solicitor general of the United States under the Obama administration. She was also a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School and later became the first female dean of Harvard Law School.

It’s hard to predict how Kagan will deal with employment and labor cases before the Court because she has never been a judge and therefore doesn’t have a history of rulings for speculators to examine. However, she will be replacing Justice John Paul Stevens on the Court. And since Justice Stevens was considered one of the “liberal” and “employee-friendly” justices, it has been speculated that the confirmation of Kagan likely won’t shift the overall balance of the Court.

Keep up with the latest news on employment law decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and other state and federal courts in your State Employment Law Letter.