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.