Supreme Court Nominations

Senators Probe for Kagan Weak Points, While Ex-Editor Hits Her Pronunciations

As senators looked for weak points in follow-up questions submitted to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, a former editor wondered why no one asked about her “substandard” pronunciations.

Six senators submitted questions to Kagan, and her answers were “finely sanded” to avoid last-minute controversy, the Washington Post reports. She continued to assert that opinions expressed in memos while she was clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall were those of her boss. And while she wrote an undergraduate thesis on socialism, she said she has not since then explored “in any significant way” the tenets or beliefs, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

Meanwhile, former Knoxville News Sentinel editor Don Ferguson says he would like to ask Kagan about her pronunciations of “wouldn’t” and “didn’t.” Writing at, Ferguson says she pronounces the words as “would-dunt” and “did-dunt,” with an extra “d” sound in the middle.

TV actors and young people often use these pronunciations, he says, but a Supreme Court nominee? “Some might think these pronunciations are trendy or vogue, but there is no basis for them,” writes Ferguson, who is also identified as a retired chief deputy clerk for the U.S. district court and a former city council member.

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