Elena Kagan Clarifies That She Is Not the Lady Who Puts Warnings on Cigarettes


The White House released a short video about the life and experiences of Elena Kagan today, narrated by who else but Elena Kagan. It mostly consists of biographical information you know by heart at this point — grew up in New York, Harvard Law, Dean of Harvard Law, etc. But one moment in particular stood out to us, especially in light of the scrutiny Kagan’s allegedly thin (or at least judgeship-absent) résumé has come under. After mentioning that she’s used her legal training as solicitor general in the Obama Justice Department, Kagan adds:

Nobody knows what that quite means. Some people think it’s the people who put the labels on the cigarette packages, but, in fact, it’s not. That’s the surgeon general. The solicitor general is the person who represents the United States in the Supreme Court.

It seems to us like the White House is making sure everyone is on the same page about Kagan’s qualifications. We suspect that the number of people who understand the difference between the surgeon general and the solicitor general is higher than “nobody” — but not by a lot.