So it’s Elena Kagan. I’m not going to get into the merits; I’m not particularly bothered. I’m much more bothered by the Attorney General’s statement that we need a bill relaxing Miranda rights. That said, there is something very important about the appointment: for the first time, we will have four justices from four boroughs: Elena Kagan (Manhattan), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Brooklyn), Antonin Scalia (Queens), and Sonia Sotomayor (the Bronx). Not only that, but all four of them have New York accents.
Note the way Ms. Kagan pronounces “thought.” Most excellent. Ms. Kagan grew up on the Upper West Side. Aged 50, she may be the last generation of children from that area to possess a distinctive New York accent of the older type. You can still hear the modern type in and around Manhattan Valley, but even there it is fading out in favor a more generic Northeastern accent.
Yeah, that’s Manhattan Valley in 1899! Somebody needs to add a soundtrack.