Justice Elena KaganElena KaganLiberal, conservative Supreme Court justices unite in praising Stevens Trump orders flags to half-staff in honor of Supreme Court Justice Stevens White House pays tribute to late Justice Stevens MORE on Thursday doubled down on her scathing dissent of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on partisan gerrymandering, saying that she will “never accept” the court’s majority opinion in the case.
Kagan, speaking at an event at Georgetown Law, said that she “didn’t really pull my punches about the importance I thought that decision had to the political system.”
The justice had authored a fiery dissent of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling last month on partisan gerrymandering, in which the majority found that the federal judiciary cannot make rulings on the topic of politically drawn district maps.
“In giving such gerrymanders a pass from judicial review, the majority goes tragically wrong,” she wrote in the dissent.
On Thursday, Kagan said she wrote the dissenting opinion not just as a way to oppose the court ruling in the immediate future, but also to show generations to come why she believed it was wrongly decided.
“You’re writing a dissent because you want to convince the future, and I guess you want to convince the present, too,” she said.
Kagan also spoke about the importance of the Supreme Court upholding past precedent, a topic she also broached when dissenting on an opinion this past term that did overturn a prior ruling.
That doctrine, known as stare decisis, has been raised as a topic for the court as it settles into its new conservative majority, particularly amid speculation that the justices could eventually readdress the landmark abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade.
Kagan said she believes that while there are instances that the Supreme Court should overturn cases, it should be “reasons beyond just ordinary wrongness.”
The Obama appointee also offered lengthy praise for the late Justice John Paul Stevens, who died this week at the age of 99 and whose seat on the bench she filled.
“My gosh, what a life,” she said of Stevens, who spent 35 years on the Supreme Court, calling him an “extraordinary man and an extraordinary justice.”