Forget all the "baseless chatter" about Elena Kagan, writes Ruth Marcus. "She's not gay, OK?" Marcus believes Kagan's law school roommate, who also happens to be a friend. In fact, she wishes Kagan were gay, because it would be easy to write a column about how a homosexual judge would add perspective to the court. Instead, she has to wrestle with a question that seems "unnecessarily intrusive" but doesn't seem to be going away, either: "So if she's not gay, then why isn't she married?"
Which gets into all kinds of complicated "gender-based undertones," writes Marcus in the Washington Post. "The brutal fact is that if a never-married man in his 40s or 50s decides, well, better late than never, he's got options—some of them in their 20s or 30s. A never-married woman tends not to have the same array of choices." And don't forget that Kagan is wickedly smart. "As it happens, I was at Harvard Law School in the mid-1980s, and I don't think the men there were put off by smart women. But put off by women smarter than them? Very possibly, even if not consciously."