United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan talks about hunting with Justice Scalia

10/24/2016 06:18 PM

LOUISVILLE – Speaking to a crowd gathered at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law, United Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan answered questions on a wide range of issues, from gender diversity on the court, to hunting with late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Kagan is one of four women to ever serve on the high court, and was asked Monday about the value of gender diversity on the Supreme Court.

“I’ll be honest with you, and I think it’s sort of cutting against what you are expecting me to say,” Kagan said. “I don’t really think of gender, the value of gender diversity, that we bring some different perspective or some different set of concerns, or different kinds of questions. I think that occasionally happens, but is really rare.”

Kagan went on to elaborate on a case that was before the court before she became a justice where the perspective of a female justice was important, but the fact that she had to go back to a time before she served on the court makes her believe it is rare.

She did say that there is a real value in having demographic diversity on the court.

“But still it’s a good thing that the court looks like America,” Kagan told the crowd.

Kagan was also asked about what she misses most about her former colleague Antonin Scalia, and while they disagreed on issues she misses his voice on the court.

“I miss him at conference, he was a very important voice at conference, and often we disagreed, but not always, by any means,” Kagan said.

She also misses Scalia as a friend, who took Kagan on her first hunting trip.

During her confirmation process Kagan participated in 75 courtesy visits with different U.S. Senators, and since they could not come out and ask her directly her views on the Second Amendment, Kagan says they would often ask if she knew anybody that owned a gun.

“I was sitting down with one Senator and he was telling me how important hunting was to the people in his state and to him personally,” Kagan said. “He started telling me about how he had a ranch, and he used to go hunting on this ranch, and I just blurted out ‘well you know Senator this is not something I’ve ever had the opportunity to do, but if you would like to invite me hunting with you I’d love to come.’ And this look of adjunct horror, you know, I thought OK I probably went too far.”

Kagan ended up promising the Senator that if she was lucky enough to get confirmed to court, she would ask Justice Scalia to take her hunting, which he did — even teaching her how to shoot.


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