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U.S. Supreme Court

Kagan Sees Privacy as One of Most Important Future Issues for Court

Posted Dec 17, 2012 9:54 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Justice Elena Kagan highlighted a future important issue for the U.S. Supreme Court and reflected on a past high-profile remark in a speech on Thursday evening.

Kagan said privacy in a changing world is a big issue likely to come before the court, Politico reports. She spoke in a question and answer session at a Washington, D.C., synagogue.

Kagan said former Justice Louis Brandeis was aware of the importance of the issue, according to the Politico account. He “understood how new technologies interfere with privacy, which I think will be one of the most important issues before the court in the decades to come,” Kagan said.

Kagan also talked about an oft-quoted remark from the confirmation hearings, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports. The exchange began when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. talked about domestic terrorism and the attempted bombing of a plane on Christmas Day. Graham asked Kagan where she was on Christmas. “Well, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant,” she said.

Kagan said the remark was spontaneous. “Some people asked me, 'Was that prepared?' Really, you think the White House would have let me say something like that?” Kagan said.

Kagan said that, a day after her remark, a Chinese restaurant close to her childhood home in Manhattan posted a sign that read, “We love you too, Elena Kagan.” After her confirmation, the restaurant posted a sign that read, “‘Mazel tov!”

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