Elena Kagan Fast Facts

Here's an in-depth look at the life of Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. She is the fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Birth date:
April 28, 1960

Birth place: New York, New York

Birth name: Elena Kagan

Father: Robert Kagan, lawyer

Mother: Gloria (Gittelman) Kagan, teacher

Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1981, graduated summa cum laude; Worcester College, Oxford University, M. Phil., 1983; Harvard University, J.D., 1986, graduated magna cum laude

Religion: Jewish

Other Facts:
Was editor of the Harvard Law Review and first female dean of Harvard University Law School.

Nicknamed "Shorty" by Thurgood Marshall. He was 6' 2"; she is 5' 3".

Taught at the University of Chicago Law School at the same time as future President Barack Obama.

1986-1987 -
Law clerk for Judge Abner Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit.

1988 - Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

1989-1991 - Associate with the D.C. law firm Williams & Connolly.

1991-1995 - University of Chicago Law School professor.

1993 - Senator Joe Biden appoints Kagan as the special counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. During this time Kagan works on Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

1995-1996 - Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton.

1997-1999 - Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy. Kagan is also deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council.

1999 - President Clinton nominates Kagan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Hearings are never scheduled, and the nomination lapses.

1999-2003 - Harvard Law School professor.

April 3, 2003-March 20, 2009 - Dean of Harvard University Law School.

January 26, 2009 - President Barack Obama names Kagan to be U.S. solicitor general.

March 19, 2009 - Confirmed by the U.S. Senate 61-31 to become the first woman to serve as U.S. solicitor general, despite opposition by over 75% of Republican senators.

May 10, 2010 - President Obama nominates Kagan to be a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

June 28, 2010 - Kagan's Senate confirmation hearings begin.

July 20, 2010 - The Senate Judiciary Committee votes 13-6 to send her nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

August 5, 2010 - The Senate confirms Kagan as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

August 7, 2010 - Kagan is sworn in as the 112th Supreme Court Justice.

January 23, 2012 - The Supreme Court denies a request from Freedom Watch, a political advocacy group, to argue that Kagan should recuse herself from the upcoming appeals over the constitutionality of health care reform. Kagan served as the Obama administration's top government lawyer handling appeals to the Supreme Court when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed.