It's official: Elena Kagan is a Supreme Court justice
Elena Kagan, President Obama's second appointment to the US Supreme Court, was sworn in Saturday as an associate justice. Which cases will she hear first?
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When the next court term begins Oct. 4, Kagan and her colleagues on the bench will immediately hear arguments in several high-profile cases.Skip to next paragraph
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Among cases on the docket in the first two weeks is one concerning the Westboro Baptist Church’s controversial protests at funerals of American military personnel. Albert Snyder, the father of a marine killed in Iraq in 2006, sued the Christian fundamentalist group for invasion of privacy and emotional distress after its members demonstrated at his son’s funeral. The group appears at military funerals in a bid to win attention for its vehemently antihomosexual, antigovernment message.
Other early cases take up the legal rights of parents to sue manufacturers when their children are injured by vaccines, government background checks for NASA contractors that the workers say intrude unnecessarily on their privacy in the name of national security, and the application of mandatory minimum-sentencing laws for criminal offenders.
Kagan, the first woman to serve as dean of Harvard Law School, is the 112th justice of the US Supreme Court. New York-born, Princeton- and Harvard-educated, Jewish, and single, she was nominated to the Supreme Court by Mr. Obama on May 10. The Senate confirmed her appointment on Aug. 5, 63 to 37. She has served as a clerk for judges, including former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, but has never herself sat on the bench.