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It’s hard to get excited about a nominee whose whole life has been one of wealth and privilege.
Wealth and privilege? Elena Kagan was the daughter of a public school teacher and a lawyer in a two-lawyer firm who represented tenants — both children of immigrants, both the first in their families to go to college. Her dad took her as a kid on the crosstown bus to her (good, free) public school. She lived a block away from the “Murder Hotel,” a SRO hotel on 75th and Broadway, and walked past it every day on her way to the subway to her (good, free) public high school. She got into Princeton, and graduated summa cum laude. Hers is a middle class success story.
Middle class success story? These are the facts below, if this is middle class, then what is elite? Her only position in private practice was at one of DC’s biggest law firms. She may well be a good justice, but her’s is a life of privilege unknown to 99.99% of all lawyers.
To say that someone’s whole life has been one of wealth and privilege is to say that she’s had her lot in it handed to her on a platter. Princeton did not gift Elena Kagan a degree summa cum laude; Harvard Law School did not gift her membership on the law review or magna cum laude honors; and Thurgood Marshall didn’t gift her a clerkship. The Wikipedia article you reference points out that the University of Chicago Law School awarded her a professorship after students raved about her teaching. Kagan has excelled at everything she has done, and earned the honors she has achieved. And she started as a kid taking the bus with her dad (later the subway, by herself) to public school. That’s not a nominee to get excited about? The late Senator Roman Hruska said that mediocrity deserved representation on the Supreme Court. Would mediocrity be more exciting?