Archive for the ‘U.S. Supreme Court’ Category

Elena Kagan Confirmed as U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Today, the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  The vote total was 63-37.  Justice Kagan will serve on the country’s highest court with two other female justices.  In terms of access to justice and consumer protection issues, it is presumed by most, but not really known publicly, that Justice Kagan will be a strong advocate for the civil justice system.  If so, she will appropriately replace one of the Supreme Court’s greatest plaintiff/consumer advocates, Justice John Paul Stevens.

Kagan Nomination Hearings Underway

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The nomination hearings for Supreme Court prospect Elena Kagan are underway in the Senate.  She is expected to be confirmed as the replacement for Justice Stevens, who sat on the active Court for the final time yesterday.  In his honor, several other justices wore Justice Stevens’s trademark bow-tie.

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

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

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

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.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens Will Leave a Legacy of Jury Trial Protection When He Retires This Summer

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

As of tomorrow it will be one week since Justice John Paul Stevens officially announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court effective at the close of the current term this summer.  The announcement was not a surprise given the long and successful career of Justice Stevens.  He turns 90 in five days.  Supreme Court historians will debate Justice Stevens’ legacy for years to come.  Writers and pundits have already started to evaluate his legacy.  (To learn more about a handful of landmark cases in which Justice Stevens played a pivotal role, you can read a Newsweek blog at:  Overall, Justice Stevens is likely to be remembered for his reasoned approach to civil liberties, civil rights, and the right to trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases.  Given Justice Stevens cared deeply about applying the wisdom of the constitution’s founders to the issues of modern times, it is appropriate to invoke the words of John Adams in 1774, who said, “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty.”