Elena Kagan, President Obama's solicitor general, is rapidly emerging as a frontrunner to replace retiring Chief Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Kagan is widely praised as an accomplished and intelligent attorney, but is far more conservative than Stevens and could shift the political dynamic of the high court.
Conservatives are responding favorably to the potential of a Justice Elena Kagan while liberals worry that, by choosing her, the administration would miss the opportunity to elevate a genuine progressive.
John Manning, a conservative professor at Harvard Law School, where Kagan served as dean, told HuffPost that he would firmly support a Kagan nomination. Professor Charles Fried, a Reagan administration solicitor general, also said that he'd support a Kagan pick.
"She is a supremely intelligent person, really one of the most intelligent people I have encountered, and I have met a lot of them, as one does in this business. She is very adroit politically," said Fried. "She has quite a strong personality and a winning personality. I think she's an effective, powerful person and a very, very intelligent person, and a very hardworking and serious person."