By: Mary Ann Pekara
October 12, 2010
The newest Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan, recently heard her first case at the nation's highest court and it involved bankruptcy law.
In the case before the court, Jason Ransom, a Las Vegas man, was trying to claim the standard $471 exemption for vehicle ownership cost after filing for bankruptcy with $82,000 in credit card debt, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The news source reports that Kagan waited for about 15 minutes before she joined the other justices in questioning the lawyers for the two sides, but when she did she was one of the most vocal, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
Kagan pointed out that Ransom owns his 2004 Toyota Camry outright and asked why he felt he should deduct ownership costs. The news source reports that in an Internal Revenue Service handbook used by bankruptcy judges, ownership costs means loan or lease payments.
The Journal pointed out that during her first case on the Supreme Court, Kagan wore the standard black robe with no unusual accoutrements.