"The court does seem very divided, and I think Elena has shown her ability to build bridges, and she showed that in spades at the Harvard Law School faculty. And if you haven’t seen divisions, have a look at the Harvard Law School faculty! So I think she’ll bring an aptitude and a record as a bridge builder. And she’s certainly as bright as they come."
-- Governor Deval Patrick
"This is a day on which the Harvard Law School community is immensely proud. President Obama — himself a son of Harvard Law School -- has nominated to the highest court in the land a leader of tremendous vision who has been supremely dedicated to justice and the rule of law throughout a distinguished career marked by the passionate pursuit of excellence.
"Building on her days here as a superb student and later a brilliant teacher and an important scholar, Elena Kagan was an astonishingly effective dean who led the school in putting students first, renovating the curriculum, and expanding the faculty into the best and most wide-ranging to be found at any law school. She bridged past political divides over hiring, renewed the physical spaces of the campus, moved the library into the digital age, and created a climate of mutual respect across a diverse community. Her decency, her skill at making almost anything better, her intellectual and interpersonal talents, and her integrity make this an outstanding nomination."
-- Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow
"I look forward to reviewing Elena Kagan’s qualifications for the Supreme Court. I am keeping an open mind on this nomination and hope the confirmation process will be fair, thorough and respectful."
-- US Senator Scott Brown
"Elena Kagan has been an extraordinary trailblazer and she will be an extraordinary Supreme Court Justice for a very long time. She brings together a remarkable combination of qualities that the Court needs today: a capable mind, a fresh energy, a proven ability to build consensus across ideological lines, and a real-world understanding of how the law and public policy impacts Americans in their daily lives.
"The first woman to head Harvard Law School and the first woman to serve as Solicitor General, when she is confirmed by the Senate, for the first time the Supreme Court will look a little more like America with three women serving together on the bench. Massachusetts has been Elena’s adopted home, and a place where she earned the respect of jurists and scholars from across the ideological spectrum."
-- US Senator John Kerry
"The decisions made at the nation's highest court affect the daily lives of all Americans. Our constituents deserve a civil and thoughtful debate on this nomination, followed by an up-or-down vote."
-- Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont
On the beat
Columnist Adrian Walker says UMass Dartmouth is shaken after revelations that one of the Marathon bomb suspects was a student there. Read more