(CNSNews.com) -- Justice Elena Kagan said she was “not sure” if President Barack Obama would have nominated her to the Supreme Court if she had not been a woman.
During a talk before law students on Friday at the University of Tennessee Law School, Kagan said, “And to tell you the truth, there were also things that I got because I was a woman. I mean I'm not sure I'd be sitting here.”
“I'm not sure that I would've been President Obama's nominee if I weren't a woman,” she said. “And if he wasn't as committed as he was to ensuring that there was diversity on the Supreme Court.”
“So, mostly what I think when I think about this question is how far we've come and how much I owe -- and all the women who have come after me owe-- to people like Justice Ginsburg and Justice O'Connor,” she said.
Kagan was initially asked by Dean of Tennessee Law School Doug Blaze, “It’s been a remarkable career, and you’ve been quite a pioneer along the way. [The] first woman to be Dean of the Harvard Law School, first woman solicitor general of the United States. You’re now the fourth woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court and one of three presently serving.”
“Along the way, what challenges have you faced as a woman and what changes have you seen in the legal profession, if any, over that period of time?" he said.
Kagan replied that most of the challenges of being a woman in the legal profession were already overcome by the women who preceded her.
“Well, I feel pretty lucky that I haven’t had to surmount all that many barriers or leap over all that many hurdles that were there because I was a woman,” said Kagan. “And I think that that’s because of the time I came along where a lot of the women who preceded me had done a lot of the hard work to make sure that women and men were evaluated equally and had the same opportunities as each other.”