Oct 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Justice Kagan: "Time will tell" if Supreme Court can find "common ground"

Justice Elena Kagan poses for an official portrait on Oct. 7, 2022, in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Justice Elena Kagan said Friday that "time will tell" whether members of the Supreme Court can get back to "finding common ground."

Driving the news: Kagan spoke at the University of Pennsylvania in a livestreamed interview with school president Liz Magill.

Zoom out: Her comments come after the Supreme Court’s new term began earlier this month with several major cases that could impact environmental regulations, voting rights, affirmative action and free speech, Axios' Sri Ravipati reports.

  • The previous term saw its six conservative judges and three liberal judges split on major issues including abortion and gun rights.

What she's saying: "You know that I’m clear-eyed about the challenges and the difficulties but still remain hopeful," Kagan said.

  • "Time will tell whether this is a court that can get back to finding common ground, to ratcheting down the level of decision-making so that we can reach compromises," she added.
  • Kagan said the justices go to lunch together "a certain number of times a week" to get to know each other as human beings, where they don't discuss cases.
  • She said the test is, "Do we engage with each other in a way that attempts to find common ground, in a way that fosters principled compromise, or is that sort of beyond us?"
  • "That's a work in progress," she added.
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