Kagan: “Nothing Short of Terrifying” As Law Prof

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Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan may never have been a judge. But for those looking for clues about what she might be like on the bench, Elie Mystal over at Above the Law, offers some insights. Mystal didn’t know Kagan as a colleague, a legal opponent, or even a military recruiter, but as his first year civil procedure professor. And it wasn’t pretty. He writes:

Like Frodo on Weathertop, there are some wounds that never fully heal. Professor Kagan massacred me intellectually, and brutalized my pride. I got some form of a B in her class (I honestly don’t remember if there was a modifier — I’ve tried to suppress those memories). Kagan was a frightening professor for those who wanted to match wits with the brightest legal minds in the world. For people like me, people who just wanted to get through law school with minimal mental damage, Kagan was nothing short of terrifying.

Mystal describes Kagan as a part of a dying breed of classical Socratic method instructors, a woman who could leave students shaking like leaves with her cold-call questioning. If Kagan performs on the bench the way Mystal describes her in the classroom, the Supreme Court bar is in for some fun if she gets confirmed.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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