“Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, told her that hunting was important to his constituents and questioned whether she could see that importance.”
Arizona Daily Star
August 31, 2016
By: Elizabeth Eaton
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan reminisced Wednesday night about the late Justice Antonin Scalia during an appearance at the University of Arizona’s law school — not with tears, but with laughter.
The confirmation process led to her friendship with Scalia, she said, because of an odd promise to an Idaho senator.
Before her confirmation, Kagan met with dozens of members of Congress, many of whom questioned her about her stance on the Second Amendment. Kagan, who grew up in New York City, said she had never shot or held a gun.
Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, told her that hunting was important to his constituents and questioned whether she could see that importance. He spoke in length about his ranch where he often hunted, Kagan remembered. She said she understood where he was coming from and offered to join him on a hunting trip if he wanted to invite her. After her proposition, a "look of abject horror" passed over the senator's face, she said.
So instead, she made a promise.
"If I’m lucky enough to be appointed, I’ll ask Justice Scalia to take me hunting," she told Risch.
And she did. After she was sworn in, Kagan told Scalia about how she had invited herself to one of his hunting trips .
"He thought it was so funny, he was on the floor laughing," she remembered.
Scalia took Kagan to his gun club and began teaching her gun safety and how to shoot. After he declared her ready, the two began taking hunting trips together, which is when they began to bond. Birds in Virginia, deer in Wyoming, duck in Mississippi — over the years, the justices traveled, hunted and got to know each other better.
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