After her first year on the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan appears to be getting favorable reviews from both commentators and her colleagues.
Said to have "established herself as an incisive questioner and forceful writer," the junior justice has also established herself as a friend.
She has been out with both Justices Scalia and Thomas, as well as with Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy.
And according to some, Chief Justice Roberts might as well be her twin.
The chief and junior justices are said to share a "crisp and clear" writing style, according to the Washington Post. Justice Kagan prides herself on writing readable opinions in a conversational tone.
She recently explained that she wants to communicate with people who may not know much about the subject, reports the Post.
The pair also seems quite suited to spend the following decades engaged in what professor Michael Dorf calls "intellectual grappling."
However, some of her statements have been noticeably more Scalia in nature. Justice Kagan has shown her sarcastic side this year, often coming across as brash.
In a strongly-worded dissent supporting campaign finance law, she wrote, "But the only smoke here is the majority's, and it is the kind that goes with mirrors."
And once she advised that her opinion was best read by those who have a law degree and several cups of coffee.
Whether this sarcasm will continue remains to be seen. But with a number of controversial cases soon coming before the court, Justice Kagan will likely have ample opportunity to employ her acid-tipped pen.
- Elana Kagan's First Year Report Card (Wall Street Journal)
- Obamacare Lawsuit: Is Justice Elena Kagan Impartial? (FindLaw's Supreme Court Blog)
- Justice Kagan Talks Cameras in the Supreme Court, Collegiality (FindLaw's Supreme Court Blog)