Obama nominates Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

(AP) - President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan today to the Supreme Court, declaring she would demonstrate the same independence, integrity and passion forthe law exhibited by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kagan would become the third womanon the high court. Obama introduced her in the White House EastRoom as "my friend."

The former Harvard Law School dean "is widely regarded as oneof the nation's foremost legal minds," Obama said.

Kagan, 50, said she was "honored and humbled by thisnomination." She called it "the honor of a lifetime."

Obama cited what he called Kagan's "openness to a broad arrayof viewpoints" and her "fair mindedness."

In a statement issued before Kagan had completed her remarks,the lawmaker who will preside over her confirmation hearing,Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said, "The Senate shouldconfirm Ms. Kagan before" Labor Day.

The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, saidhis party would make sure there was a "thorough process, not arush to judgment" on the nomination.

To see the president's full announcement and Elena Kagan's remarks, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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