Papers reveal Kagan's lighter side

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Funny and flip. Confident at times, nervous at others. An earnest student and a meticulous lawyer. Newly released documents of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's not-so-distant past reveal a determined, often blunt-speaking woman with an occasionally silly side.

The examination of thousands of pages of documents from Kagan's years in college and from her various professional posts in academia and government are part of a ritual every high court nominee endures, as every aspect of their past is scrutinized.

Found in the papers, beyond the serious discussions of her views on hot-button issues are some lighter moments.

The material begins with her work as a cub reporter for her undergraduate newspaper. She wrote about student council meetings, football and field hockey, and various protest marches.

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