Gibbs Defends Possible Supreme Court Nominee’s Ties to Goldman Sachs

Posted May 7, 2010 at 12:36pm

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday defended Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who is widely rumored to be President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court vacancy, against reports that she was a paid member of an advisory panel for Goldman Sachs.

“This is a panel that had absolutely nothing to do with the decisions that Goldman has made that they’re now being investigated for. This was something that was reported to the Senate to her confirmation as solicitor general,” Gibbs told reporters.

Federal financial disclosures indicate Kagan was a member of the Research Advisory Council of the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute. Asked whether he is concerned that Kagan’s ties to the beleaguered investment firm could potentially be used against her as the prospective Supreme Court nominee, Gibbs replied, “No.”

Obama is on the verge of announcing his pick for the seat being vacated by retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Other leading contenders include federal appeals court judges Diane Wood, Merrick Garland and Sidney Thomas.

Gibbs said Obama’s announcement “could come at any moment” but added that he still wasn’t sure whether the president has made his final decision.

“I’ve not been told that he’s made a decision. I’ve not been told the interviews have been stopped,” he said.