This morning, President Obama announced that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is his nominee to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. The President had this to say about his nominee:

Elena is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost legal minds. She’s an acclaimed legal scholar with a rich understanding of constitutional law. She is a former White House aide with a lifelong commitment to public service and a firm grasp of the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government.

The President praised Kagan’s “fair-mindedness and skill as a consensus-builder,” and noted that during her time as Solicitor General, “she has won accolades from observers across the ideological spectrum for her well-reasoned arguments and commanding presence.”

In her remarks, Kagan called the Supreme Court “an extraordinary institution in the work it does and in the work it can do for the American people by advancing the tenets of our Constitution, by upholding the rule of law, and by enabling all Americans, regardless of their background or their beliefs, to get a fair hearing and an equal chance at justice.”

She also spoke of her passion for the law:

Because law matters; because it keeps us safe; because it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms; and because it is the foundation of our democracy.

The full text of President Obama’s and Solicitor General Kagan’s remarks are available at the White House website.

Reactions to the Kagan nomination are beginning to come in from the Senate, including three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: Chairman Patrick LeahySenator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Orrin Hatch, as well as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.