Harvard dean top contender for U.S. solicitor general

Chris Rizo Jan. 3, 2009, 4:23pm

Elena Kagan

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The dean of Harvard Law School is the top candidate to serve as President-elect Barack Obama's voice at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, the first female dean at Harvard Law School, and former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan are reportedly the two top contenders for U.S. solicitor general, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The news service reported that Kagan, 48, became a candidate for solicitor general after being passed over for deputy attorney general. She could draw bipartisan support, partly because of her record at Harvard. There, she helped ease ideological tensions between liberal and conservative faculty.

Kagan worked in the Clinton administration as associated counsel and a domestic policy adviser. She was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but Republicans stalled the nomination.

She and Obama worked on the University of Chicago Law School faculty at the same time during the 1990s.

Sullivan, 53, became the first female dean of Stanford University Law School in 1999. She stepped down in 2004, joining the Los Angeles-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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