66 Facts About Elena Kagan


Elena Kagan is an American lawyer who serves as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.


Elena Kagan was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 10,2010, and has served since August 7,2010.


Elena Kagan began her career as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, leaving to serve as Associate White House Counsel, and later as a policy adviser under President Bill Clinton.


In 2009, Elena Kagan became the first female solicitor general of the United States.


Elena Kagan is considered part of the Court's liberal wing though tends to be its more moderate justice.


Elena Kagan has written the majority opinion in some landmark cases, such as Cooper v Harris, Chiafalo v Washington, and Kisor v Wilkie, as well as several notable dissenting opinions, such as in Rucho v Common Cause, West Virginia v EPA, Brnovich v DNC, Janus v AFSCME, and Seila Law v CFPB.


Elena Kagan was independent and strong-willed in her youth and, according to a former law partner of her father's, clashed with her Orthodox rabbi, Shlomo Riskin, over aspects of her bat mitzvah.


Elena Kagan asked to read from the Torah on a Saturday morning as the boys did, but ultimately read from the Book of Ruth on a Friday night.


Elena Kagan's childhood friend Margaret Raymond recalled that she was a teenage smoker but not a partier.


Elena Kagan attended Hunter College High School, where her mother taught.


Elena Kagan emerged as one of the school's more outstanding students.


Elena Kagan was elected president of the student government and served on a student-faculty consultative committee.


Elena Kagan was particularly drawn to American history and archival research.


Elena Kagan described Kagan's political stances as "sort of liberal, democratic, progressive tradition, and everything with lower case".


In 1980, Kagan received Princeton's Daniel M Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship, one of the highest general awards the university confers.


Elena Kagan earned a Master of Philosophy in Politics at Oxford in 1983.


In 1983, at age 23, Elena Kagan entered Harvard Law School.


Elena Kagan went on to earn an A in 17 of the 21 courses she took at Harvard, and was a supervisory editor of the Harvard Law Review.


Elena Kagan navigated the factions with ease, and won the respect of everyone.


Elena Kagan became one of Mikva's favorite clerks; he called her "the pick of the litter".


From 1988 to 1989, Elena Kagan clerked for justice Thurgood Marshall of the US Supreme Court.


Marshall said he hired Elena Kagan to help him put the "spark" back into his opinions as the Court had been undergoing a conservative shift since William Rehnquist became Chief Justice in 1986.


In 1991, Elena Kagan became an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School.


Elena Kagan served as Associate White House Counsel for Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1996, when Mikva served as White House Counsel.


Elena Kagan worked on such issues affecting the Clinton administration as the Whitewater controversy, the White House travel office controversy, and Clinton v Jones.


Elena Kagan worked on topics like budget appropriations, campaign finance reform, and social welfare issues.


Elena Kagan initially sought to return to the University of Chicago, but she had given up her tenured position during her extended stint in the Clinton Administration, and the school chose not to rehire her, reportedly due to doubts about her commitment to academia.


Elena Kagan quickly found a position as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.


In 2001, Elena Kagan was named a full professor at Harvard Law School and in 2003 she was named dean of the Law School by Harvard University President Lawrence Summers.


Elena Kagan succeeded Robert C Clark, who had served as dean for over a decade.


Elena Kagan has been credited for a consensus-building leadership style that defused the school's previous ideological discord.


Elena Kagan made a number of prominent new hires, increasing the size of the faculty considerably.


Elena Kagan's coups included hiring legal scholar Cass Sunstein away from the University of Chicago and Lawrence Lessig away from Stanford.


Elena Kagan made an effort to hire conservative scholars, such as former Bush administration official Jack Goldsmith, for the traditionally liberal-leaning faculty.


In October 2003, Elena Kagan sent an email to students and faculty deploring that military recruiters had shown up on campus in violation of this policy.


From 2005 to 2008, Elena Kagan was a member of the Research Advisory Council of the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute.


Elena Kagan was reportedly disappointed, and law school students threw her a party to express their appreciation for her leadership.


On January 5,2009, President-elect Barack Obama announced he would nominate Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General.


Elena Kagan was vetted for the position of Deputy Attorney General before her selection as Solicitor General.


At the time of her nomination, Elena Kagan had never argued a case before any court.


Elena Kagan testified that she would defend laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, pursuant to which states were not required to recognize same-sex marriages originating in other states, "if there is any reasonable basis to do so".


Elena Kagan was the first woman to hold the position.


Elena Kagan noted that Kagan published an article in the University of Chicago Law Review in 1995 in which she criticized the evasiveness she came to practice.


Elena Kagan is the first person appointed to the Court without any prior experience as a judge since William Rehnquist and Lewis F Powell Jr.


Elena Kagan is the fourth female justice in the court's history, and the eighth Jewish justice.


In 2018, Slate observed that Elena Kagan had crossed ideological lines on multiple cases during the preceding term, and considered her to be part of a centrist bloc along with Justices Roberts, Stephen Breyer, and Anthony Kennedy.


Elena Kagan was the circuit justice, the justice responsible for handling emergency requests, for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits.


Elena Kagan reasoned the word "applicable" was key to the statute, and debtors could only take allowances for car-related costs that applied.


Elena Kagan deemed this distinction "arbitrary" because tax credits and grants can be used to achieve the same objectives.


Elena Kagan viewed the majority's decision as creating a loophole for governments to fund religion.


Elena Kagan argued the use of prayer showed a preference for a particular religion and thus violated Americans' First Amendment rights.


Elena Kagan agreed with Kennedy that the Court's decision created inequity and drew an arbitrary distinction, but further opined that Monsanto might have been wrongly decided.


Elena Kagan suggested she would be willing to overturn such precedent in the future, but declined to do so in the case at bar because Luis had not sought that relief.


Elena Kagan quoted Court precedent that race must only be a predominant consideration, and that challengers did not need to prove politics was not a motivating factor.


Elena Kagan would have struck down the Arizona voting laws that throw out votes that are cast out-of-precinct and ban ballot harvesting.


Elena Kagan wrote that African-American, Latino, and Native American voters are disproportionately likely to have their votes thrown out for being out-of-precinct.


Elena Kagan wrote only majority opinions or dissents that more senior justices assigned to her, and in which she and a group of justices agreed upon a rationale for deciding the case.


Elena Kagan wrote the fewest opinions for the terms from 2011 through 2014, tying with Kennedy in 2011 and 2013.


Elena Kagan's writing has been characterized as conversational, employing a range of rhetorical styles.


Elena Kagan has said that she approaches writing on the Court like she used to approach the classroom, with numerous strategies to engage the reader.


Elena Kagan tends to choose speaking engagements that allow her to speak to students.


Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the article on Elena Kagan, calling her "an incisive legal thinker" and "excellent communicator".


Early in her tenure as a justice, Elena Kagan began socializing with several of her new colleagues.


The hunting trips stemmed from a promise Elena Kagan made to US Senator Jim Risch of Idaho during a meeting before her confirmation; Risch expressed concern that, as a New York City native, Elena Kagan did not understand the importance of hunting to his constituents.


Elena Kagan initially offered to go hunting with Risch before promising instead to go hunting with Scalia if confirmed.


Elena Kagan is known to spend time with longtime friends from law school and her stint in the Clinton administration rather than attending Washington, DC social events she is invited to as a justice.