The White House announced Elena Kagan as the nominee for the 112th Supreme Court justice. Elena Kagan currently serves as the Solicitor General of the United States. The Solicitor General’s role is to conduct and supervise all government litigation before the Supreme Court. As the Solicitor’s website explains:
The Solicitor General determines the cases in which Supreme Court review will be sought by the government and the positions the government will take before the Court. The Office’s staff attorneys, Deputy Solicitors General and Assistants to the Solicitor General, participate in preparing the petitions, briefs, and other papers filed by the government in the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General conducts the oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Those cases not argued by the Solicitor General personally are assigned either to an Assistant to the Solicitor General or to another government attorney. The vast majority of government cases are argued by the Solicitor General or one of the office attorneys.