Supreme Ivy

When Elena Kagan dons her black robe — as she inevitably will — the USA will have a Supreme Court  composed exclusively of Harvard and Yale Law School graduates, and for some of my countrymen, this is problematic.

Some fear that an all-Ivy group will be out of touch with “real Americans” while others believe that, as you would with your favourite brain surgeon, you want only the best and the brightest.

In the DNA of America there is a profound ambivalence about elitist schools. Everybody wants his son-in-law to attend one, but nobody wants him to list it on his political resume. When George Bush ran against John Kerry, neither highlighted their prep school roots (Andover and St. Paul’s) or the fact that they both went to Yale.

I buy the latter argument, and think that, if a justice shows up at a NASCAR event sporting a bow-tie, with “Grey Poupon” hidden in his glove compartment, that’s a small price to pay for judicial brilliance.


3 thoughts on “Supreme Ivy

  1. “Both my parents wanted me to succeed in my chosen profession. But more than that, both drilled into me the importance of service, character, and integrity.”
    These are the words of Elena Kagan.

  2. You seem to believe that the graduates of the Ivy League schools are the best and the brightest. No doubt they are bright. Their work ethic is not always top notch. I have had better luck with employees who graduated top of the class from “lesser” schools. These folks tend not to have developed the same sense of entitlement and they are better team players.
    I often doubt our decision to send our own children to elite schools. My favourite brain surgeon is not a Harvard or Yale graduate.

    1. Thanks.

      You raise a very good point!

      I may have been over reacting to the “She doesn’t represent us because she’s just another elitist” sentiment. (I wonder, too, if some of this doesn’t come from those who resent the fact that the Supreme Court will be composed of 6 Catholics and 3 Jews?)

      Like you, I think we should put more emphasis on work ethic/ teamwork and less on resume.



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