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Baylor Law Professor Weighs In on Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan

May 10, 2010

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Mark Osler, a Baylor law professor who won a case in front of the Supreme Court in 2009, said that Kagan is well-respected for her stewardship of the Harvard Law School as its Dean. Given the lack of appellate court experience, many say her background information is less extensive then most nominees. Says Osler, that can benefit her during the confirmation process.

In addition to her role as solicitor general, Kagan is well-familiar with the high court. She was selected by then-Senator Joe Biden to shepherd Ruth Bader Ginsberg through the successful hearings. On the other end of the spectrum, she was denied a spot on the court of appeals, a seat that eventually went to Chief Justice John Roberts. These experiences served her well as Dean of the Harvard Law School, where Osler believes she showed skills that would prove valuable on the bench.

An area of particular interest for Osler, head of the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, is the fact that her confirmation would mean that a major change in the court's religious makeup.

Kagan, a Jew, would join two other Jews and six Catholics. Osler believes that the lack of a protestant representative on the bench should not deter people against the nominee, but that the religious backgrounds should be considered more extensively down the line, as they do play a role in shaping the moral viewpoint of the people who interpret the laws of the land.

Osler hopes that the faith of the next nominee will be considered by the president and lawmakers.

You can hear continuing coverage and analysis of the Elena Kagan nomination here on 103.3 FM, with more from Osler as the confirmation process begins. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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