Justice Scalia Praises Elena Kagan’s Lack of Judicial Experience

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports:

Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has been criticized by some Republican senators for lacking judicial experience. But Justice Antonin Scalia, the High Court’s most outspoken conservative, said Wednesday that he likes that the former Harvard Law School dean and Solicitor General is not currently a judge.

“When I first came to the Supreme Court, three of my colleagues had never been a federal judge,” said Scalia who joined the Court in 1986 after being nominated by President Reagan. “William Rehnquist came to the Bench from the Office of Legal Counsel. Byron White was Deputy Attorney General. And Lewis Powell who was a private lawyer in Richmond and had been president of the American Bar Association.”

“Currently, there is nobody on the Court who has not served as a judge --indeed, as a federal judge -- all nine of us,” he continued. “. . . I am happy to see that this latest nominee is not a federal judge – and not a judge at all.”

Scalia made his remarks about Kagan while delivering the Second Annual Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture. The speech was sponsored by The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and was held in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

ABC News’ Kristina Wong contributed to this report.

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