President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court this morning. If confirmed, Kagan would be the fourth woman Supreme Court Justice and would fill the seat vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced his retirement last month. “I am very excited at the prospect of 33 percent of the Supreme Court being comprised of women,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. She continued, “Elena Kagan has broken many barriers for women as the first woman dean of Harvard Law School and as the first woman solicitor general. Her qualifications are impeccable.” In his remarks announcing the appointment, President Obama said, “Elena is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost legal minds. She’s an acclaimed legal scholar with a rich understanding of constitutional law. She is a former White House aide with a lifelong commitment to public service and a firm grasp of the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government.” He continued, “Elena is respected and admired not just for her intellect and record of achievement, but also for her temperament — her openness to a broad array of viewpoints; her habit, to borrow a phrase from Justice Stevens, ‘of understanding before disagreeing’; her fair-mindedness and skill as a consensus-builder.” Kagan is President Obama’s second appointment to the high court. His first Supreme Court appointee, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was sworn in on August 8, 2009.