On May 10, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The announcement came one month after the news that Justice John Paul Stevens would retire after nearly 35 years on the bench.
To serve congressional and public requests for resources pertaining to this historic nomination, the Law Library of Congress developed a web presentation on Kagan on its Supreme Court Nominations site at www.loc.gov/law/find/court-nominations.php.
The site includes links to articles and books by the nominee, congressional documents, Supreme Court oral arguments and web resources. From mainstream media to new media such as blogs (and law blogs, or “blawgs”), the site offers information about Kagan as well as Supreme Court nomination hearings dating to 1971. Featured nominees include confirmed Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel A. Alito and John G. Roberts; another featured nominee is Harriet E. Miers, whose nomination was withdrawn on Oct. 27, 2005.
The Library of Congress contains the nation’s largest corpus of the papers of chief justices and associate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court (39 in all). Among the chief justices, the division holds the papers of Oliver Ellsworth, John Marshall, Roger Taney, Salmon Chase, Morrison R. Waite, Melville W. Fuller, William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone and Earl Warren. The Library’s collection of papers of associate justices under Chief Justice Warren (1953-1969) include Hugo L. Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Harold H. Burton, Robert H. Jackson, William J. Brennan, Byron R. White, Thurgood Marshall and Arthur J. Goldberg. In 2004, the Library opened to the public the papers of Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun—who served 1970-1994—and mounted an online presentation of selected items (www.loc.gov/rr/mss/blackmun/).
In these personal papers may be found private documents that reveal the hidden process of judicial decision-making. Because the high court carefully guards its privacy, some of this information may be found nowhere else in the world.