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Congressman Adam Schiff - a law school classmate of Elena Kagan

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The Senate Judiciary Committee continues confirmation hearings on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. On the House side of the Capitol, a Southland congressman knew the nominee when she was a fellow law student at Harvard.

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff praises fellow Harvard Law alum Elena Kagan’s intellect. But the Burbank lawmaker says that anyone who pays attention to the confirmation hearing already knows the other gifts she’d bring to the high court.

"That is a very quick wit, a great sense of humor, and a wonderful laugh," he says. "I think that kind of spark that she has is going to win people over during the confirmation, I think it’s going to win her colleagues over on the court, I think it’s going to make the oral arguments before the Supreme Court a lot more fun and exciting. So I think she’s going to be a great presence."

Congressman Schiff graduated from Harvard Law School a year before Elena Kagan. He says he got to know Kagan when she later became dean of the law school. He thinks she’d be a very influential Supreme Court justice because of her people skills.

"And the job on the Supreme Court, like every other job, is very much a people job," says Schiff. "And her ability to multiply her influence by getting other justices to come to her point of view, I think, is gonna be really key and a great asset for her. I think she’ll have an influence on that court disproportionate to her number. She’ll be more than one out of nine."

Schiff says he feels like a "real laggard" because the president of the United States and the likely next Supreme Court justice graduated from Harvard Law School after he did.