Partisan politics reportedly taking a toll on Supreme Court Justice Kagan
Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan speaking in 2013. (Photograph by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women)

The transformation of the Supreme Court from its intended non-partisan preference to obvious political positioning is having a toll on Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, according to reports from Politico.

According to the Politico article, in private interviews business and personal associates of Kagan have commented that she feels like her entire term as Associate Justice has become null and void due to the heavy shift to the partisan politics that has filled the court. Kagan entered the Supreme Court with a firm goal to build consensus for a more efficient court. That has not happened.

Kagan, who was sworn into her current position in August 2010, has witnessed the 180-degree change of the court and it has clearly affected her in a negative way, the report explained.

This mindset was on full display this fall at speaking engagements at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island in September and the University of Pennsylvania in October. In the Rhode Island speaking engagement she blew off the importance of the personal camaraderie instead opting to focus on the importance of professional communications and operational efficiency required to be a Justice on the Supreme Court.

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In the speech Kagan stated, "To be a truly collegial, collaborative court, you have to be talking about more than: 'Do they talk about baseball together?'" Kagain continued. "You have to be talking about: 'Can they engage in the real work that they're doing in collegial and collaborative ways?'"

Kagan further emphasized the importance of "serious, sometimes difficult" engagement on the Supreme Court.

Those who follow the Supreme Court and its extremely internal and private culture found her public remarks "startling," Politico reported. Others say that Kagan is just stating the obvious and that the actions of the court have put its legitimacy at risk a lot more than any public statement that Kagan makes.

In the Politico story, a longtime professional colleague states, "[Kagan] is clearly not very happy."

An even more politically charged environment in preparation for the 2024 Presidential election means more of the same for Kagan and her colleagues on the Supreme Court.