TUCSON, Ariz. — Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says the political pressure surrounding President Obama’s stalled high-court nominee doesn’t affect her fellow justices when it comes to handing down rulings.

The Arizona Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/2bDOaVX) that during a talk at the University of Arizona Wednesday, Kagan said the opinions of the president or members of Congress are “utterly irrelevant to us when we decide cases.” Senate Republicans have said they won’t confirm Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland before the presidential election.

Kagan says the court could use more geographical diversity, noting that many justices spent a large part of their lives on the East Coast.

She says a lack of diversity affects how the public views the court.

Kagan became the high court’s fourth female justice when she was appointed in 2010.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com