On Monday, April 2, a bearded deity dressed in an elaborate toga-like garment swept down to earth on a white cloud and in a blaze of lightning-flash glory proclaimed Dean Kagan the Supreme Justice of the Universe from the steps of the Langdell Library. The deity, quickly identified as Zeus, gave an inaugural speech indicating his displeasure with the mortals’ lack of appreciation for Dean Kagan.
“You fickle humans,” he roared as more lightning flashed in the clear spring sky, “first you let out rumors that Elena will be a Supreme Court Justice, but nothing happens. Then you put her on the short list to lead all of Harvard University, but again you don’t come through. The gods and I cannot tolerate this any longer! Dean Kagan was destined for more than building your ice skating rink and maintaining your blood-coffee levels (just ask the Fates). I have had enough! She will from now on serve as the Supreme Justice of the Universe.”
One student witnessing the event meekly inquired whether there will be any competition with Themis, that goddess that holds up the scales of justice. “No worries,” replied Zeus, “Themis and I came to an understanding. She has grown weary of her duties and will pursue other career opportunities, much like your Registrar. Moreover, she is kind of tired of having a breast or two exposed all the time. It gets nippy up on Olympus.” Calls to Themis and her publicist were not immediately returned.
HL Central quickly organized a “Yay, Dean Kagan” party at the Hark. Athena was kind enough to provide some ambrosia for the punch and her wise pet owl was a guest of honor. In her farewell speech, Dean Kagan expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity to be Supreme Justice of the Universe and how much her years at Harvard Law meant to her. “As long as I hold those scales, Harvard Law’s side will always have an advantage, both because all of you are so brilliant, and because, well, because I’m holding them.”
The Dean however, expressed some concern over her ability to keep her arm up with the heavy scales for all eternity, or until Zeus chooses to end her tenure. “I mean I’ve been working out at Hemenway, but those scales look heavy. I hope I’m up to the challenge. I also don’t know about that whole justice being blind thing. I suspect it is just a blindfold, not Once Upon a Time in Mexico or King Lear.”
As Dean Kagan was swept away to her new role, questions immediately arose regarding who would take over as Dean of the Law School. Derek Bok immediately agreed to serve as interim Dean while a committee selects a successor. Some wondered whether Themis would be available. The gentlemen of Lincoln’s Inn seemed to like the idea.
Adding to the jubilation, the law school faculty voted to rename the months of the year in honor of Dean Kagan, much like Turkmenistan’s homage to recently deceased President-for-Life Türkmenbasy. “January shall now be called ‘Kaganember,'” Dean Cosgrove told students by e-mail, “February will be named after Dean Kagan’s mother, and March will be called ‘Fluffuary’ after her childhood pet.”
Meanwhile, sculptors throughout the world rejoiced as commissions began pouring in from virtually every courthouse for a new statue of Justice, based on Dean Kagan, complete with a blazer. “It is so nice to finally sculpt something new, not the same old lady in a drape,” said one sculptor. Even plans for the Northwest Corner building project were immediately amended to include a courtyard with a large gold-plated rotating statue of Dean Kagan in the new student center. Stock prices of the world’s major marble producers increased by an average of 5% due to the expectation of thousands if not millions of statues that will need to be replaced.