The Mind of Elena Kagan

The response to President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court has been as predictable as the choice itself. Kagan was the frontrunner for the job since before Justice Stevens announced he was stepping down, and the Washington interest groups have been wearing their battle fatigues since...well, they never actually take them off. So within minutes of the White House ceremony, the expected flurry of e-faxes and cable blather began.


Looking for some light amid all the heat, I asked Stuart Taylor to make the trek from the 4th floor of our Watergate home, where he writes for National Journal, to the 7th floor HQ of the Atlantic. Stuart, a Supreme Court expert who used to cover the justices for the New York Times and the author of a post here earlier today analyzing Kagan's views, talked about the nominee's record, why Justice Scalia "seems to have a jolly time with her," and the biggest misconception people have about the Court.


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Bob Cohn is the president and chief operating officer of The Atlantic. He was previously the editor of Atlantic Digital, the executive editor of Wired and The Industry Standard, and a writer at Newsweek. More

As The Atlantic's president and chief operating officer, Cohn oversees business and revenue operations for the company’s print, digital, and live-events divisions. He came to the job in March 2014 after five years as the editor of Atlantic Digital, where he built and managed teams at TheAtlantic.comThe Wire, and The Atlantic Cities.

Before coming to The Atlantic, Cohn worked for eight years as the executive editor of Wired, where he helped the magazine find a mainstream following and earn a national reputation. During the dot-com boom, he was the executive editor of The Industry Standard, a newsweekly covering the Internet economy. In the late 1990s, he served as editor and publisher of Stanford magazine. He began his journalism career at Newsweek, where for 10 years he was a correspondent in the Washington bureau, at various times covering the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Clinton White House.

In 2013, TheAtlantic.com won the National Magazine Award for best website. During Cohn’s tenure at Wired, the magazine was nominated for 11 National Magazine Awards and won six, including honors for general excellence in 2005, 2007, and 2009. As a writer, Cohn won a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association for coverage of the Clarence Thomas confirmation process.

A graduate of Stanford, Cohn has a masters in legal studies from Yale Law School. He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

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