In 2005, when Kagan gave a lecture about women in the legal profession she had a golden opportunity to unload about the highly-charged issue of the conflict between womens' professional commitments and the demands of a home life. Given her caution and blandness, Elena Kagan was the about herself.
Both of them made a point of publishing almost nothing; both of them were as silent as the Sphinx on the burning issues of their day.
The two books with Obama's name on the covers are bereft of opinions that might have proven troublesome later on.
There was a brief period in her early 20s when Elena Kagan expressed clear and forceful opinions on matters legal and political.
That window of expressiveness abruptly closed and she has been a cipher ever since.
(, Kagan's Writings Back Wider Executive Powers, 5/22/10).
Elena Kagan spent four years in the Clinton White House promoting Clinton's domestic agenda.
That experience shaped her thinking about administrative law, said Richard H. The question now is whether Kagan will be equally untroubled about using powers to do end runs around our elected legislators? In her Oxford thesis Elena Kagan wrote admiringly of how the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren refused to confine itself to the largely negative and constraining role of providing a check against the excesses of the legislative and executive branches of our government.
Time and again, Kagan enthused, the court asserted its right to do no less than lead the nation.
Obama graduated from Harvard Law in 1991, Kagan in 1986.
Kagan joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1991, becoming a tenured professor in 1995; Obama taught some classes there from 1992 to 2004.
Unlike earlier generations of students who were intellectual risk takers willing to challenge authority, Kagan's cohort was more subdued, strategic and calculating.