Justice Kagan and Miguel Estrada have had a long relationship that has confounded and surprised many of their skeptics. At Kagan’s confirmation hearing, Estrada waxed poetic about her abilities and good humor while Kagan volunteered that Estrada was “qualified to sit as a Supreme Court Justice.” They first met at Harvard Law School when they were assigned to sit next to each other during each class of their first years.
Well, friendship with a Supreme Court justice has its perks. This week, the Supreme Court appointed Miguel Estrada to defend the decision below in Hill v. United States. Since appointed amici are chosen by the Circuit Justice for the circuit from which a case arose, Justice Kagan was likely tasked with finding an amici to appoint. This was her first appointment.
(H/T to Michelle Olson at Appellate Daily)