Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said yesterday that she sometimes feels like her job hasn't "really change[d]" since serving as President Obama's solicitor general, because in both roles she was thinking about Supreme Court arguments.
Kagan said that it was a challenge to master the "mechanics" of being a justice. "For me, I had never been a judge before and just figuring out the mechanics of a job [was difficult]," she explained during an event honoring Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. "I had these four clerks; what do I do with them? What's the best process for drafting an opinion? When do I read the briefs, do I read them the day before do I read them the week before?"
Her work as President Obama's solicitor general was "hugely helpful" in making the transition "because you're just sort of looking at the court from a somewhat different vantage point, but really spending all your time thinking about those nine people and what they're doing."
"Sometimes I think that the job doesn't really change at all," Kagan concluded of her ascent to the court. "As solicitor general, my life was spent trying to persuade 9 people and now it's just trying to persuade eight people."
It's pretty rare for Supreme Court justices to take questions in front of a camera. You can watch the whole thing here.