Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan bagged herself a deer on a hunting trip to Wyoming with Justice Antonin Scalia last fall. You heard that right: Despite finding themselves on opposite sides of major court decisions, the liberal Obama-appointee and the conservative Reagan-appointee have become hunting buddies since Kagan was confirmed in 2010 as the fourth woman in history to sit on the highest court in the land.
"I shoot birds with him, fairly -- you know, two or three times a year now," Justice Kagan said during a wide-ranging and delightful Aspen Ideas Festival conversation with Jeffrey Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center, on Saturday. "And then he um, at the end of last year we had been bird shooting four or five times. I'll tell you how that came to be. But before I do, before I -- he said to me, 'It's time for big game hunting.' And we actually went out to Wyoming this past fall to shoot deer and antelope. Uh, and we did."
"You're getting some hisses from the audience. I hope you were a better shot than Dick Cheney," Rosen interjected as a smattering of hisses emerged from around the room at the mention of hunting in Wyoming.
"I shot myself a deer," Kagan continued. "The way this started, I'll tell the story. You know the NRA has become quite a presence in judicial confirmations, and that means when you go around from office to office, from chamber to chamber, I met with about 80 senators individually and quite a lot of them, both Republicans and Democrats, ask you about your views on the Second Amendment. But because you don't say anything about your views on anything, when they ask you well, they'll try to figure out what your views on the Second Amendment are likely to be and they'll say, 'Well, have you ever held a gun? Have you ever gone hunting? Do you know anybody who's gone hunting?' And you know me, Jeff, I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and this was not something we really did, you know.