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Kagan Leaves a Mark on Her First Day


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CBS News:

There's been a lot of hyped-up consternation about whether Elena Kagan was ready to be a justice. Among the nine, she is the only justice who hadn't first been an appeals court judge, and so the chatter among critics is that she would struggle because her learning curve was steep.

Ahem. No.

In her first case as a sitting justice this morning, Kagan came off like a seasoned, savvy pro. She hit lawyers with precise questions that weren't unduly aggressive, and she made her points. What's more, she showed why many people think she'll be a true force on the Court: She effectively drew in other the justices with her questions--asking a follow up to a question by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for example, and then striking true gold by piquing the interest of human jump ball Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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But it was a good start for the newest justice. If you're a liberal who hopes she will be an intellectual force who builds coalitions, you had to like what you saw. And if you're a conservative, you had reasons to feel nervous.

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