Obama picks “Shorty” for Supreme Court
Elena Kagan rose to the occasion — literally — stepping up onto a riser behind the podium so she would be closer to eye level with the President and Vice President of the United States on either side of her.
President Barack Obama, looking quite pleased with himself, introduced her as his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy opened by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens.
“She has often referred to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she clerked, as her hero,” Obama said. “I understand that he reciprocated by calling her ‘Shorty’.”
Obama said that Kagan credited Marshall with reminding her that behind the law were stories of people’s lives. “That understanding of law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page, but as it affects the lives of ordinary people, has animated every step of Elena’s career — including her service as Solicitor General today,” he said.
Kagan must go through a Senate confirmation process that always brings out every group with a gripe. But so far Senators generally are saying they are keeping an open mind.
We’re not sure that Kagan would be the shortest Supreme Court Justice ever – THIS JUST IN – an administration official says she’s 5-feet 3-inches tall. While there are plenty of biographies on those who reached the heights of the highest court in the land, we couldn’t find much comparative height data for the justices (probably an unseemly question to ask of the robed ones).
(What we did find during our research was a Who’s Who of Short People list — which puts Mae West at 5-feet even).
But we’re thinking that Kagan in another glass ceiling busting move — she was the first female U.S. Solicitor General and Dean of Harvard Law School — would help shatter the myth that being tall is a must for success.
Take that Randy Newman…
What do you think of Kagan as a pick for the Supreme Court?
Photo Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama introduces Kagan as Supreme Court nominee)