Elena Kagan: Clerks Have A Huge Role In The Supreme Court

elena kagan obama

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

We already know Supreme Court clerks play a pretty respected role in the legal community — just look at their salaries once they join private practice — but we didn’t realise just how important they are.In a discussion at the University of Richmond School of Law, Justice Elena Kagan said her clerks write the first draft of her opinion and help her choose the cases the court will consider, The Associated Press reported.

“I know the clerks improve my work,” she said. But Kagan was quick to add clerks are “by no means junior varsity judges.”

Part of the clerks’ role in improving Kagan’s work is helping her decide what cases to hear in the first place.

The high court receives 8,000 to 9,000 petitions annually and the clerks help whittle that workload down to about 75 cases, according to the AP.

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