Elena Kagan Matters to Young People

06/28/2010 12:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

With the impending interrogations facing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, it must be conceded that young people could care less about the Harvard prodigy. However, we should be weary of our seemingly surreptitious irreverence towards the soon to be Justice. Starting this week, Kagan's hearings will be broadcast clear across the nation for all to see. It behooves us to pay attention to the Kagan nomination and here is why.

Kagan is a unique choice in many regards. For starters, she is the first judicial nominee without any experience as a judge in several decades. Kagan would be the third woman on the Court replacing Justice John Paul Stevens, and joining Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The former is further intriguing considering that Justice Stevens, aside from his thirty-five years of service, has no Ivy League experience to his resume. Justice Stevens' retirement would mean the Court would be filled with Justices from either Yale or Harvard. Also, the last eight out of ten Justices would have presided from varying Ivy League Institutions. Yes folks, American elitism at its finest!

Kagan is the product of the highest quality education. Born in New York City's Lower East Side to conservative Jewish parents, Kagan attended Hunter College High School. She was featured in her 1977 class year book wearing a judge's robe and holding a gavel. Always known for her precociousness, Kagan went on to attend Princeton University where she studied history and was politically active alongside classmate and future New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer. Afterward, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Oxford University. Once Kagan received her masters she enrolled in Harvard Law where she eventually became supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review.

After Harvard, Kagan clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom she admires till this day.
She would go on to work inside the Clinton Administration and eventually land her current job as our Soliciter General. Kagan's resume is hefty in accomplishments but thin on insight into whom she really is politically. However, we can be certain about a number of things.

Kagan is an endearing figure stark in judicial history. She should be an example to both young men and women as to where vigorous study and determination will take you. There is more insight that needs to be shed on Kagan. Consequently, young people will have to tune in this week to figure out who Elena Kagan truly is. At least this writer will.