Supreme Smackdown: Alito Throws Kagan A Brushback Pitch

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. Seated from left: Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the Dobbs decision overturning Roe. v. Wade, apparently wasn’t happy with Justice Elena Kagan’s remarks questioning the court’s legitimacy.
  • Kagan said she believes “judges create legitimacy problems for themselves, undermine their legitimacy, when they don’t act so much like courts and when they don’t do things that are recognizably law.”
  • That didn’t sit well with Alito, who countered: “It goes without saying that everyone is free to express disagreement with our decisions and to criticize our reasoning as they see fit. But saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.”

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