Elena Kagan Shoots a Deer, Fails to Impress Scalia

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 2 2013 11:50 AM

Elena Kagan Shoots a Deer, Fails to Impress Scalia

Elena Kagan's hunting prowess failed to impress Scalia.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

In case you needed further proof that the days of intense animosity among Supreme Court justices are over, Elena Kagan revealed at the Aspen Ideas Festival that she recently joined her colleague Antonin Scalia on a friendly hunting trip—and even shot a deer. The Atlantic reports Kagan's fascinating tale:

"You know the NRA has become quite a presence in judicial confirmations ... I met with about 80 senators individually and quite a lot of them ... ask you about your views on the Second Amendment. But because you don't say anything about your views on anything ... they'll try to figure out what your views on the Second Amendment are likely to be and they'll say, 'Well, have you ever held a gun? Have you ever gone hunting? Do you know anybody who's gone hunting?' And ... I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and this was not something we really did, you know.
"And so I kept on having these conversations where I would say no and no and no and I was—and finally ... I said, 'You know senator,' I said, 'if you were to invite me hunting, I would really love to go.' And this look of total horror passed over his face. You know, 'Has this woman just invited herself hunting with me?' And I thought, I've gone too far, and then I sort of pulled back and I said, 'I didn't really mean to invite myself, but I'll tell you what, if I am lucky enough to be confirmed, I will ask Justice Scalia to take me hunting.'
"And I went to Justice Scalia when I got onto the court, and I said, 'This is the only promise I made during my entire confirmation proceedings, so you have to help me fulfill it.' And he thought it was hilarious. He thought it was a total crackup."

Although Kagan says she "shot herself a deer," Scalia was not impressed: "She ended up killing a white-tailed doe," he has noted, "which she could have done in my driveway."

Watch the whole interview below.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.


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