President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan for Justice of the United States Supreme Court on the basis of an academic publication record, which might give her a fighting chance for tenure at a first rate correspondence law school in the Texas Panhandle.
A review of her published scholarship after almost two decades in and out of academia turns up four law review articles, two brief pieces and several book reviews and in memoriam. There is nothing even remotely resembling a major legal text or research publication.
Her lack-luster academic publication record is only surpassed by her total lack of any practical experience as a judge: zero years in adjudication, unless one accepts the line of her exuberant advocates, who point to Kagan’s superb ability in adjudicating among the squabbling faculty at Harvard Law School when she served as Dean. No doubt Kagan had been very busy as the greatest fundraising Law School Dean in Harvard’s history ($400 million), which may account for the fact that she never found time to write a single academic article during her nine year tenure (2001-2009).
The criteria for her appointment to the Supreme Court have little to do with academic performance as it is understood today in all major universities. Nor does her total inexperience as a judicial advocate compensate for academic mediocrity.