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Elena Kagan Stepping Aside As Solicitor General During Confirmation Process

05/17/10 06:38 PM ET   AP

Elena Kagan Solicitor General

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is stepping aside as solicitor general during her confirmation process.

Kagan wrote a letter to the Supreme Court on Monday, saying her deputy, Neal Kumar Katyal, will serve as acting solicitor general in light of her nomination.

"I ask that you please address future correspondence from the Court to him, and that the Court's docket sheets reflect his designation as Counsel of Record," Kagan said in a letter to Supreme Court Clerk William Suter.

The solicitor general is the top government lawyer who argues the administration's cases before the Supreme Court.

Katyal's promotion was effective as of May 10, the date President Barack Obama nominated Kagan to the high court as the replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Katyal was a co-counsel for former Vice President Al Gore in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000. He also argued and won the Supreme Court case that challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay.

He is a former national security adviser in the Justice Department and is also a former clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer.

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Filed by Jeff Muskus  |