Elena Kagan rocks the 80s

What does Elena Kagan know about trucking?

Probably a lot more now that she wrote last week’s unanimous Supreme Court opinion upholding the American Trucking Association’s rejection of a Port of Los Angeles requirement that they affix placards to trucks with numbers should the trucks appear to be violating the port’s environmental standards.


What does she know about the 1980s?

Justice Kagan rocks the 80s:

Under that contract, a company may transport cargo at the Port in exchange for complying with various requirements. The two directly at issue here
compel the company to (1) affix a placard on each truck with a phone number for reporting environmental or safety concerns (You’ve seen the type: “How am I driving? 213–867–5309”) and (2) submit a plan listing off-street parking locations for each truck when not in service.

Recognize the number? Those of a certain age should. It features titularly in Tommy Tutone’s classic “8675309/Jenny.”

Kagan’s enshrinement of the number in U.S. jurisprudence may not the song’s first brush with litigation — there have been reports of lawsuits by actual number holders fed up with prank calls. Maybe they could have just ignored Mr. Tutone’s admonition not to change that number.

Kind of makes one wonder how exactly Elena Kagan, youthful scholar, wound down after a hard day hitting the books.

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Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.