Bench Memos

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Elena Kagan and Affirmative Action, Part 3


I wrote earlier here and here about evidence that Elena Kagan’s views on affirmative action would be an appropriate area of Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The last part of this AP story after the Clinton Library’s most recently released documents during her White House stint discusses additional evidence (emphasis added):

But Kagan was more than willing to reach for more responsibility in Clinton’s White House, particularly in policy areas she was passionate about. Affirmative action and campaign finance were two, according to a 1995 e-mail.

In a note to Abner Mikva, a White House counsel under Clinton, Kagan lobbied to be put in charge of affirmative action, given that presidential race adviser Chris Edley was leaving.

“Is there a need for someone to keep on top of the affirmative action issue — for example, by working with Justice on its review of all affirmative action programs? I know the issue well (because I teach it) and care about it a lot; if there’s stuff to do here, I’d love to do it.”


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