This piece by Paul Campos makes the point, not for the first time, that Elena Kagan’s public record is so thin as to make it impossible to guess how she might decide as a Supreme Court judge. While this question is important, another strikes me.
How does someone whose vita contains “three scholarly articles, two shorter essays, two brief book reviews, and two other minor pieces”, and who had apparently never appeared in a courtroom before last year, get to be Dean of Harvard Law School and then US Solicitor-General? Even confining myself to law journals and popular pieces on legal topics, I could match that track record. I once even exercised a quasi-judicial function in my career as a regulator, which is more than Kagan has done.
In view of Kagan’s apparently inevitable promotion, can I put myself forward as her replacement? I guess the Harvard gig is already taken, but I’m sure I’d be a great Solicitor-General. All my friends say I’‘m “brilliant”, and have “many remarkable qualities”. Some will even go as far as “scrupulously fair-minded” .
fn1. For comparison, here’s the publication list for Kathleen Sullivan, reputedly the runner-up for the S-G job.