U.S. Senate Will Hold Confirmation Hearings on Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Before August Recess

Voice of America reports that Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to complete confirmation hearings for President Obama’s most recent Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, prior to the early August recess scheduled for the Senate.  (See http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/usa/US-Senate-Prepares-for-Kagan-Hearings-93892229.html).

Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominees is required by the Constitution.  Most expect the hearings to conclude with confirmation of Ms. Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.  Justice Stevens is known as one of the strongest proponents of civil rights and liberties, including the right to trial by jury that is the cornerstone of every personal injury and wrongful death case.  Many assumed that President Obama would pick a like-minded Justice to replace the outgoing Stevens.  However, it is not apparent from the existing record where the future Justice Kagan stands on public access to the civil justice system.  Therefore, we will closely watch the Senate Confirmation Hearings to learn more about where Ms. Kagan stands on issues affecting the right to a civil jury trial.

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