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Kagan Takes the Bench as Supreme Court Term Begins

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A new Supreme Court term got underway Monday with Justice Elena Kagan, in her first appearance on the bench, asking several questions about a technical case involving bankruptcy law.

For the first time in history, three women -- Justices Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- sat on the bench, each one participating lively.

Kagan took Sotomayor's old seat on the far right of the bench from a spectator's perspective. The addition of a new justice changes the court's seating arrangement, as justices with the most seniority flank the chief justice, who sits at the center.

When the first case ended, Kagan left the courtroom, as she had recused herself from the second case. Kagan has so far recused herself from about half the cases -- 52 so far -- because she dealt with them in some capacity while serving as solicitor general.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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