With the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, President Obama has made a statement on his view of some critical qualifications for the United States Supreme Court. With so many issues of policy concern likely to come before the Court—from executive powers to health care to financial regulation and immigration reform, would confirmation of Kagan change the direction of the Court? Does the confirmation process itself generate more heat, or more light? Join five legal experts with firsthand experience in previous nomination processes for a roundtable discussion.
Rachel Brand is counsel in the Regulatory and Government Affairs and Litigation/Controversy Departments at Wilmer Hale. During the Administration of George W. Bush, she managed the Justice Department’s role in the selection and confirmation of federal judges and was responsible for preparing Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito for their confirmation hearings.
Lanny Davis is Principal of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, LLC. He is a Washington, D.C., attorney and litigator and is former Special Counsel to President William J. Clinton.
Ken Duberstein is currently the Chairman and CEO of the Duberstein Group, an independent, bipartisan, strategic planning and business government relations firm in Washington, DC. He served as the Reagan White House Chief of Staff. He has successfully shepherded several Supreme Court nominees through the nomination and confirmation process during the Reagan and Bush years.
Adam Liptak is the Supreme Court Correspondent for The New York Times. Previously he was National Legal Correspondent for The New York Times. Among many other stories, he covered the Supreme Court nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
William P. Marshall is a Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill Law School. He served as Deputy White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President during the Clinton Administration where he worked on issues ranging from freedom of religion to separation of powers. He has published extensively on constitutional law issues and is a nationally recognized first amendment scholar. He is also a leading expert on federal judicial selection matters.
Stuart Taylor is a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and National Journal and a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.