Letter: Did April Fools article prompt Stevens retirement?


Dear Editor,

I can’t help notice that only one week after “General Kagan” demanded a Supreme Court vacancy open up in the April Fools’ Day issue of the Harvard Law Record, Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. I can only conclude that Stevens and the White House thought that the column was written by the real Elena Kagan, and jumped to oblige her. (This wouldn’t be a first, as the Record April Fools’ Day issue has been tricking inattentive media and academic types since the 1970s.) The Record board should feel justified in claiming complete credit for Stevens’ retirement.

Anyway, count me among the thousands of HLS students and alums who will be unapologetic homers for our former dean if she is nominated. I hope this is her time. But I have to say that there is a major downside if Kagan ascends to the Court: she will have to wear a dowdy black robe all the time instead of her famous rainbow of solid-color blazers. (A Google image search provides all the examples you need.) I always wanted to put Elena Kagan Paper Dolls in the Record, where the basic doll was wearing a black top, black pants, and sensible shoes, and then you could dress her up in a red blazer, a green blazer, or for a formal night out, a black blazer.

Lest you think Kagan left this fashion statement behind at Harvard Law School, I asked a friend who works in the Solicitor General’s office, and he assured me that Kagan has kept the blazer collection even at her lofty post in DOJ. That made me feel good, like Kagan wasn’t going all “D.C.” on us. Alas, robe beats blazer every time. Best of luck to her or whatever other HLS grad is nominated for the spot (since that seems to describe almost everyone being short-listed). 

Andrea Saenz ’08

Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Law Record, 2007-08

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