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In a new low for American jurisprudence, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to weigh on this week’s most burning question. Amid a raft of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on matters like detainee rights, campaign finance regulation, financial oversight, civil rights, and abortion, the senior senator from Minnesota—herself a University of Chicago Law School graduate, two-term Minneapolis district attorney, and occasional shortlister for the Supreme Court—initiated a line of questioning that I can only imagine being read back by Nina Totenberg on this afternoon’s All Things Considered:
Senator Klobuchar: Solicitor General Kagan, you had an incredibly grueling day yesterday and did incredibly well but I guess it means you missed the midnight debut of the third Twilight movie last night. We did not miss it in our household and it culminated in three 15-year-old girls sleeping over at 3 a.m.
Solicitor General Kagan: I didn’t see that.
Senator Klobuchar: I just had a feeling. I keep wanting to ask you about the famous case of “Edward v. Jacob” or “The Vampire v. The Werewolf” —
Solicitor General Kagan: I wish you wouldn’t.
By deftly avoiding the question and saving over 200 years of the high court’s mostly austere reputation, Kagan continued the tradition of Supreme Court nominees not commenting on potential future cases. Klobuchar, meanwhile, likely won the endorsement of 15-year-old girls everywhere, which comes with millions of high-pitched screams but no votes. No word as to whether Judiciary Committee chairman and noted Batman fan Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., plans to ask if Kagan prefers Dick Grayson or Tim Drake as Robin.
Talking Points Memo has video of the Twilight litmus test: