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Elena Kagan ’81: Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ’81 posed for an official portrait in 2013.
Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States website

In 2010, Elena Kagan ’81 became the fourth woman ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court, having been nominated by President Barack Obama.

Over the past year, Kagan has authored several decisive opinions and dissents. In June, she wrote a dissent against a majority ruling that weakened the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s independence from the executive branch. Kagan, writing for the court’s four liberal justices, argued, “The Court today fails to respect its proper role.”


The next month, she authored an opinion for the Court’s unanimous decision that requires members of the Electoral College to vote according to their state’s popular vote. In effect, the decision prohibits faithless electors. More recently, Justice Kagan wrote a dissent arguing the Court should have allowed absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin to be returned within a six-day extension.

Kagan graduated with an A.B. in history in 1981 and served as editorial chair of The Daily Princetonian. She joined fellow Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’76, who is also featured on our list, at She Roars in 2018.