NPR logo Elena Kagan, 'Famously Excellent' (If Not Modest)


Elena Kagan, 'Famously Excellent' (If Not Modest)

President Barack Obama's latest pick for the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, certainly has that New York swagger so much of the rest of the nation loves to hate.

During her Senate confirmation hearing for her current job as the chief advocate for the Obama Administration's position before the Supreme Court, she described herself in fairly glowing terms.

Asked by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) what she'd bring to the job, she pulled out all the stops.

"I bring up a lifetime of learning and study of the law, and particularly of the constitutional and administrative law issues that form the core of the court's docket. I think I bring up some of the communications skills that has made me — I'm just going to say it — a famously excellent teacher."

Good thing she didn't mention her "famously excellent" modesty.

In her defense, at least she seemed conscious that she might be seen as tooting her own horn a little too much. But it's hard to argue that she doesn't have the goods to back up her boasts.

If only we could be there when she and Justice Antonin Scalia do the Supreme Court equivalent of what in basketball is called going one-on-one.