“Don’t despair.”

That was the departing message U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan left with a near capacity crowd at Zellerbach Hall on the University of California, Berkeley campus Monday afternoon. Kagan, who sat for an hourlong question-and-answer session with UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, delivered that message—her final two words after more than an hour on stage—in response to a question from a third-year law student who expressed waning faith in the court’s integrity under partisan strains.

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