Justice Breyer to Justice Kagan: You Will Be Nervous

By Kate McCarthy

Sep 14, 2010 8:47am

Justice Stephen Breyer had a few words of advice for the newest member of the high court: “She will be nervous. But don’t worry about it.”

Breyer gave incoming Justice Elena Kagan the same advice his predecessor, Justice Harry Blackmun, gave him when he took his seat in 1994.

“[Blackmun] said, ‘You’ll find this an unusual assignment.’  And he’s right,” Breyer told me. “Of course, you’re nervous.  I mean, for quite awhile, your cases now — they’re going to be final,” Breyer said. “There’s no one to appeal to.”

Click here to read what Breyer said about attending the State of the Union.

Kagan will take her seat when the Supreme Court returns this fall. Breyer said it will take the rookie Supreme Court justice “a while to adjust.”

“There is an instinct in everyone to be a little uncertain, to be a little unsure about whether my views in my case – ‘Will I be able to answer these decently?  Will I make some terrible mistake?  I surely hope not,’” he said. “And that lasts for awhile.”

George Stephanopoulos

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