The NAACP voted to unanimously endorse Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, at its quarterly meeting on May 15.
“After a careful and thorough review of Elena Kagan’s record, we have unanimously voted to endorse her nomination,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a press release. “Elena Kagan has demonstrated a commitment to civil rights and equal justice under the law throughout her career. Kagan drew her inspiration from NAACP former counsel and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who she considers a hero and mentor.”
Jealous also lauded Kagan’s track record working in President Clinton’s administration to strengthen hate crime legislation and civil rights enforcement. The group said it is also pleased with her work in creating a more diverse student body and faculty during her time as Dean of Harvard Law School.
“Kagan has a keen understanding of the importance of diversity to the strength and advancement of our nation,” added Jealous. “It is no accident that during her tenure as dean of the Harvard Law School, the percentage of African American students rose from 9.3 percent to 11.6 percent. The percentage of Hispanics in the entering class was 6.4 percent, while it had been 4.6 percent prior to her becoming dean.
“The number of African American students admitted, particularly black men—given the national decline in African American males in colleges and universities—is impressive. Her record demonstrates a legal scholar who clearly values the precept of equal opportunity as a right that is protected by our constitution.”
Kagan would replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, leader of the court’s liberal bloc. According to a CBS News report, she is expected to be confirmed by the Senate despite having never previously been a judge.
Vice President Joe Biden stated to CBS that he was confident that Kagan would be confirmed by the end of the summer and “there will be a lot of noise, but this is a mainstream, incredibly qualified woman.”