News & Politics

SCOTUS Watch Wrapup

Document dumps, hearing dates, and the perils of e-mail mark Elena Kagan’s progress toward the Supreme Court.

The push toward Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is moving steadily along. This week, she turned in 202 pages worth of answers to her Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, along with two college thesis papers, and a host of other writings. With that massive homework assignment completed, Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the committee, announced Kagan’s confirmation hearings would begin June 28. Here are some other highlights to note before heading into the weekend:

One juicy tidbit uncovered in those filings: Kagan’s net worth jumped 74 percent in 2009. In her questionnaire, she lists assets of more than $1.7 million.

Though they surely have their hands full sorting through the hundreds of pages already submitted by Kagan, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are also clamoring to read the 168,000—yes, 168,000—pages of memos and other documents written during the years she served in the Clinton administration. Apparently this is one area where e-mail doesn’t make life easier—Chief Justice John Roberts’s paper trail from his tenure in the Reagan administration was less than half as long, since he served before the advent of e-mail.

There is, however, a limit to the extensive document dump. Though Republicans may not like it, the White House will no doubt decline to release internal documents related to her current role as US solicitor general.

Kagan’s strong stance on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay service members has triggered some criticism. But one Marine Corps captain and a former Harvard Law student is coming to her defense on the matter.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.