President Obama just formally announced his appointment of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, touting her ability to understand the law intellectually while remaining aware of how it "affects lives or of ordinary people."
Obama praised her temperment and her openess to different viewpoints, citing her recruitment of conservative professors when she served as dean of Harvard Law School. He also singled out her work as solicitor general on the losing side of the Citizen's United free speech and campaign financing case.
On the personal side, Obama emphasized that Kagan was the granddaughter of immigrants whose mother served as a public shool teacher and father served as a housing lawyer representing tennants. He also described her as a "die hard Mets fan."
Kagan echoed Obama's general theme in her own statement, expressing her love for the law, "not because it's challenging and endlessly interesting...but because law matters. Because it keeps us safe. Because it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms. And because it is the foundation of our democracy."
She thanked her two brothers, both school teachers, who were on hand for the announcement, while expressing sadness that her parents didn't survive to be there. She reiterated that her parents were children of immigrants, and that her father worked to "represent everyday people" and to improve the community while her mother served her students.
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