Speaking at a conference for women at Princeton University on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said she fears the high court may lack a justice going forward who would serve as a swing-vote on cases.
Kagan, an appointee of former President Obama, said that over the past three decades, starting with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and continuing with Justice Anthony Kennedy, that there was a figure on the bench “who found the center or people couldn’t predict in that sort of way.”
“It’s not so clear, that I think going forward, that sort of middle position — it’s not so clear whether we’ll have it,” Kagan said.
“All of us need to be aware of that — every single one of us — and to realize how precious the court’s legitimacy is,” she added. “It’s an incredibly important thing for the court to guard is this reputation of being impartial, being neutral and not being simply extension of a terribly polarizing process.”
Kagan’s remarks came hours after President Trump’s second nominee Brett Kavanaugh secured enough votes to be confirmed. She spoke Friday alongside fellow Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who also hails from the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc.
Kennedy cast the deciding vote on several high-profile cases before the Supreme Court, and his retirement announcement earlier this year left many on the left voicing concerns that the court would lack a swing-vote going forward.
The Senate voted earlier Friday to end debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination, setting up a final vote on his nomination for Saturday afternoon, capping off weeks of controversy surrounding allegations of sexual assault.
Watch the video below:
Justice Elena Kagan: "In the last, really 30 years, starting with Justice O'Connor and continuing with Justice Kennedy, there has been a person who found the center or people couldn't predict in that sort of way." pic.twitter.com/7Yr78M3cke
— The Hill (@thehill) October 6, 2018