Senator Amy Klobuchar asked Elena Kagan this morning about her judicial philosophy and certain statements she made in her Master’s thesis at Oxford. Senator Klobuchar referenced where Kagan wrote: “U.S. Supreme Court justices live in the knowledge that they have the authority to command or to block great social, political and economic change. At times, the temptation to wield this power becomes irresistible. The justices, at such times, will attempt to steer the law in order to achieve certain ends and advance certain values.”Justices know they can command or block social and economic change and that they are tempted to do so.”
Kagan responded: “Let’s just throw that piece of work in the trash.”
Kagan told us yesterday that if we want to know what kind of justice she will be, we should look at her “whole life,” including her “scholarship.” However, if Kagan states that her scholarship should be “thrown in the trash,” how can we know what kind of justice she will be? What statements from articles she previously wrote will she agree with today?