Elena Kagan’s “X” Factor

May 18, 2010 7:53pm

ABC News' Ariane de Vogue reports: 

Elena Kagan was not shy in her submissions to congress today, choosing to include sports articles she wrote 32 years ago for the Daily Princetonian and drafts of speeches she gave as late as this month.  

One such speech was delivered in April 29th  at a ceremony –closed to most press–held by Georgetown University Law Center which was honoring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Tony Mauro, the first rate supreme court reporter and contributor to the Blog of Legal Times was one of the few journalists invited to attend the event which was occurring as the media was in a frenzy wondering if Kagan would be the next Supreme Court nominee. Mauro wrote up the speech in his blog and said, “Kagan made no mention of the vacancy.”

But today we know that Kagan ALMOST made mention of the vacancy. She submitted a draft of the speech to congress, with one handwritten portion that had a large “X” through it. 

Her notes reflect heaps of praise for Justice Kennedy (who she refers to in her short hand as JK). And his special role on the Court in deciding tight 5-4 cases.

Then, under the “X” she writes. “This special influence and position is being talked about quite a lot; because, you may have noticed, there is an upcoming vacancy on the court?” 

She continued, “And some people say the President should appoint the person who has the best relationship and the greatest potential to influence JK. So I was thinking, JK,  maybe you could just bring a quicker end to this whole consideration process—not that I’m not really enjoying it—by expressing some view on the question…relieve everybody of the need to guess about this…I won’t even listen. (But did I mention JK and I really go back a long way?)

The “X’d” out portion then ends and Kagan goes on about JK’s “independence, his thoughtfulness and his deep convictions.” 

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