Solicitor General Elena Kagan speaks after being nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Kagan, 50, has close ties to Democratic power brokers, and the lifetime appointment would offer the party the hope of a progressive voice on the Supreme Court for many years to come. If confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, Kagan would replace retiring John Paul Stevens, 90, the court's leading liberal, who sat on the bench for 34 years, through a time of turmoil and change in US life.
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