Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (1981-2006) was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan, and was confirmed with a 99-0 vote. On August 12, 2009, Justice O’Connor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States by President Obama.
Elena Kagan is the second appointment by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was chosen to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Kagan will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday in a televised ceremony. The former Harvard dean is the first Justice in over four decades to have no judicial experience.
Elena Kagan photo courtesy of Bloomberg and Getty Images