Elena Kagan and Sylvia Burwell: The Supreme Court justice got pretty salty on the new HHS nominee back in the day.

Elena Kagan Mega-Zinged the New HHS Nominee in the '90s

Elena Kagan Mega-Zinged the New HHS Nominee in the '90s

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April 11 2014 11:51 AM

Elena Kagan Dropped a Crazy Burn on the New HHS Nominee's Memo-Writing Skills Back in the '90s

Sylvia Burwell in March.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Today, President Obama is nominating former Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Burwell to take Kathleen Sebelius’ newly-vacant position as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Politico’s story on Burwell highlights her résumé (she comes from a McKinsey–Gates Foundation–Robert Rubin–Larry Summers line of center-left technocracy) and the challenges her new job presents (Obamacare Obamacare Obamacare). And then there’s this:

During her time in the Clinton White House, Burwell helped to oversee the president’s initiative on issues surrounding race. Some internal memos she issued on the subject drew mockery from other staffers, including then-White House staffer and now Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who sarcastically dismissed one such missive as “pretty exciting stuff.”

DAAAAAAAAAAAAANG Kagan BURN!!!!!! If Burwell comes down to the Supreme Court for some sort of Affordable Care Act case, things could be very awkward.

There are no further details in the story about when or how Kagan dropped this zing, how Politico learned about it two decades later, or whether Sylvia Burwell likes butter (because Elena Kagan turned her into toast).