Supreme Court Justice Kagan Went Deer Hunting? Yes, And With Justice Scalia

Well, this one is just kind of mind-blowing on several accounts.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan

Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan

In a report by The Atlantic, Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan said during a session at the recent Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado that she has been hunting several times with fellow Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. She’s a liberal and was appointed in 2010 by President Barrack Obama. He’s a conservative and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

To say they’re like fire and ice on the bench would be fair. They’re definitely on different sides of the judicial spectrum. Despite those differences, it’s obvious Kagan and Scalia have a civil relationship off the bench. Scalia is a hunter, reportedly a diehard waterfowler, and makes no bones about it. Kagan, who grew up in Manhattan, had never hunted before and, after confirmation to the court, asked Scalia if he would take her and help her learn.

Kagan said due to the NRA’s more pronounced involvement in politics today, during her meetings with congressional leaders before the confirmation they would ask about different things about guns. Did she hunt? Did she shoot? Had she ever done either? It was a way for them to parse insights without bluntly asking for her thoughts on the Second Amendment.

So, Kagan figured maybe Scalia could help her learn a little bit about guns, shooting and hunting. In my opinion, at least she made the effort to become knowledgeable and with someone experienced who would, and did, help her. If nothing else, she got to enjoy being outdoors instead of amid the insane rat race in Washington. Kudos to both of them.

Sounds like Kagan’s taken a bit of a liking to to hunting, too, from what she told Jeffrey Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center, during the Aspen event.

“I shoot birds with him, fairly — you know, two or three times a year now,” she said in Aspen. The Washington Post also reported on the deer hunting revelation, with Kagan going on at the Aspen even to say after a few bird hunting trips Scalia told her it was “’time for big-game hunting.’ We went out to Wyoming this past fall to shoot deer and antelope, and we did. … I shot myself a deer.”

Well, how about that? Supreme Court Justice Kagan is part of the Backstrap Brotherhood. No word if she chomped on a piece of fresh liver in the field like Steve Rinella or Andrew Zimmern might do, but I suspect she enjoyed some venison later that evening at dinner.

Check out the video of Kagan’s explanation from the Aspen event and go to the 3:10 point of the video for the start of her story about deer hunting with Scalia.

Kagan also said duck hunting is next on their to-do list. I suspect Scalia has a pretty good blind or two on Chesapeake Bay.

— Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor