A group of University of Chicago students went to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 25 for a 30 minute question and answer session with Justice Elena Kagan, who spoke in mostly general terms about her work as justice.
Responding to a student’s question about why she believes the Supreme Court should remain an apolitical body in a politically polarized time, she said there have been moral emergencies over the course of history that require judges to do what’s right instead of following the laws on book, but she made clear that she doesn’t see the current moment in America as an emergency that would call for such drastic defiance. She cited Nazi judges and floated the Fugitive Slave Act as extreme cases that would call for justices to defy laws.
Kagan stressed that the justices have good personal relationships with each other, and she said she understands that her conservative colleagues are acting in good faith, even when she disagrees with them strongly.
Although the Supreme Court prohibits photography, the session was held in the East Conference Room, where photos were permitted.