The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 11

April 11, 2017, 7:59 AM UTC

The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court will be remembered for shattering political norms. To ensure his nomination would be approved, Senate Republicans voted for a rule change that essentially removed the need for bipartisan compromise over any future nominee. Yet amid the bitter cross-aisle bickering, a lighthearted moment emerged: Justice Elena Kagan explained to Gorsuch what it’s like to be the most junior member of the highest court, where seniority is prized above all. Kagan was the last jurist to join the bench in 2010.

The most unique duty of the rookie justice is perhaps the least glamorous, Kagan explained. He or she is required to serve on the “cafeteria committee,” the body that decides what’s on the menu when justices dine together on oral argument days.

“I think this is a way to kind of humble people,” said Kagan, who’s sat on the committee for six years. “You think you’re kind of hot stuff. You’re an important person. You’ve just been confirmed to the United States Supreme Court. And now you are going to monthly cafeteria committee meetings where literally the agenda is what happened to the good recipe for the chocolate chip cookies.”

Their exchange actually occurred at the end of last summer when Kagan spoke with Gorsuch at an event in Colorado. The Washington Post wrote about it on Sunday,

Other responsibilities include answering the door to the justices’ conference room and speaking last when they vote on case outcomes and decide which ones to take.

But cafeteria committee duty is by far the most colorful task and one Kagan finally will give up now that Gorsuch has joined the bench. She’ll leave quite the legacy. Under her watch, the cafeteria installed a frozen yogurt machine.



Scare tacticsUkraine’s central bank chief, Valeria Gontareva, resigned after a sustained hate campaign to push her out of office. Gontareva, an ally of President Petro Poroshenko who assumed the post in 2014, enacted tough fiscal measures to save the country from further economic crisis, earning praise from the IMF while making many local enemies. As part of the hate campaign, Gontareva found a coffin at her door and a spray-painted image of a pig draped in a Russian flag on the wall of her house.Reuters


Revisionist history
French National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen sparked outrage yesterday when she claimed that France is not responsible for the mass arrests and deportations of French Jews during World War II. "I think that, in general, if there are people responsible, it is those who were in power at the time. It is not France," she said. Le Pen has sought to distance herself from the anti-semitic views of her father, the party’s founder. Her remarks are likely to hit her in the polls ahead of the election on April 23.

In Vogue
Edward Enninful was appointed the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue, taking over for Alexandra Shulman, who announced her resignation in January after 25 years at the magazine. Born in Ghana and raised in London, Enninful will be the first man to edit British Vogue in its 100-year history. Jo Ellison, the Financial Times' fashion director, and British Vogue’s deputy editor Emily Sheffield were also said to be contenders for the job.
Business of Fashion


Soap star scrubbed
One of Brazil’s most celebrated soap opera stars, 67-year-old Jose Mayer, has been suspended by his network after his former costume assistant went public with accusations of sexual assault. The incident has rocked a nation reforming its treatment of women, who make up 44% of the labor market and run 59% of the companies there. "Women have broken out of the home and from their role as care providers and joined the workforce,” one Brazilian economist told Bloomberg. “This is part of a new Brazil.”

Claws are out
Wells Fargo released a report yesterday detailing its board's investigation into the phony account scandal that erupted last summer. Among the consequences it imposed is the clawback of millions of dollars from former CEO John Stumpf and former retail bank chief Carrie Tolstedt. Even though Tolstedt will relinquish less total money than Stumpf, Fortune's Jen Wieczner reports "there is no question that she is the one painted as the true villain in the board's report."

Andrea the adversary
NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, 70, has covered seven White Houses, but has never seen anything like the Trump administration. After President Donald Trump attacked her for her recent interview with former national security adviser Susan Rice, Politico’s Susan Glasser sat down with Mitchell to talk about her unique career. “I’ve covered seven presidents now,” Mitchell said, “and have not endeared myself to any of them. That’s the job. We are adversarial.”



Skirting the issue
Japan and South Korea are making efforts to resolve the ongoing diplomatic dispute over a statue of a World War II comfort woman recently erected in Busan, South Korea. Forced prostitution of women in Japanese-occupied territory remains a politically sensitive issue in the region; Japan has asked for the statue, and others like it, to be removed. Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine was expected to raise the issue during a Monday meeting with South Korea’s vice foreign minister, but skirted the topic to address concerns over North Korea.
Japan Times

One step forward
The glass ceiling is beginning to crack in Thailand, where 40% of CEOs and 34% of CFOs are women. Yet while women are ascending to the top roles, the percentage of businesses with no women in senior leadership positions is on the rise, growing from 31% to 35% across the Asia-Pacific region over the past year. In Thailand, that figure grew from 21% to 25%.
Bangkok Post

News summaries by Linda Kinstler @lindakinstler


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"We have to realize our power and our magic."
--Actress and singer Janelle Monáe, who says women should consider a sex strike to advocate for women's rights.