Ohio State

Here comes the judge…Kagan #scotus

Getting news from the public appearance of a U.S. Supreme Court justice is about as certain as pulling a salmon from a farm pond. You can hope, but you probably should have alternative dinner options.For starters, justices have more to lose from an impolitic remark than their colleagues in the legislative or executive branches. It’s not often you hear calls for a senator to sit out an important vote because of a strong opinion. But let a sitting justice opine on abortion, the death penalty or Guantanamo? Duck so the incoming recusal requests don’t hit you in the noggin. When I covered Justice John Paul Stevens on his retirement victory lap in 2010, the closest he got to controversy was some hand-wringing about the nomination process, to wit: “It’s quite unfortunate to be trying to pin down judges on particular issues,” Stevens said. “What they’ve said in published opinions is one thing, but speculating about issues is another.” You get the idea. On the making news front, Justice Elena Kagan’s visit to Ohio State University’s law school last week was no exception. She praised predecessors Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, talked about the value of listening to her fellow justices in conference, told of her scariest moment as U.S. Solicitor General and expressed reservations about cameras in the courtroom. Not exactly breaking news, though thought-provoking and much appreciated by her audience of law students, law professors, and at least one Ohio Supreme Court justice and two federal judges whom I spied. Her best line didn’t even make my story for space reasons, but it got some laughs. It came as she was asked about Jon Oliver’s recent jab at the court for not allowing cameras, a point he made by portraying each justice by a real dog–Kagan a bull terrier, Scalia a bull dog, Breyer a beagle, etc.–“talking” via audio from an actual case. “A funny piece,” Kagan conceded, adding that everyone liked the poodle portraying Samuel Allito. “I think we all wanted to be Justice Alito’s dog.”

Categories: Ohio State

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s