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Kagan And Roberts: Similar Paths, Poles Apart

Publication Date: 
August 06, 2010
The Wall Street Journal Online
Jess Bravin

Dean Larry Kramer is quoted in this Wall Street Journal article on the career paths of Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts. Jess Bravin reports:

The careers of Elena Kagan and John Roberts are about to intersect on the Supreme Court, where the two jurists—one groomed by the Democratic legal establishment, the other by the Republican—could wrestle over competing visions of American law for decades to come.

Ms. Kagan, 50 years old, has spent a lifetime immersed in the political and academic circles where ideological battles are fought. She was a law clerk to the liberal judges Abner Mikva and Thurgood Marshall, a professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard law schools, a Clinton White House aide, and she is now President Barack Obama's solicitor general.


But Ms. Kagan may have a bigger effect over time, court watchers say. "You have to think about the court in decadelong arcs," said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer, who clerked for the late Justice William Brennan. "It is nine vectors that are crosscutting in different directions."