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Excerpts from Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)

"A close friend from her days clerking for Justice Marshall remembers Elena interviewing at a big law firm in New York, meeting with a young partner who, with no family to support, was pulling in close to a million dollars a year. 
So Elena asked him, "What do you do with all that money?" 
And he replied, "I buy art." 
Elena just shook her head in the conviction that there really were better ways to expend her life's work, and she continued to pursue efforts to more directly impact the lives of those around her."
"It was classic Elena. She saw a path forward when most people saw nothing but deadlock. And it led to a 19-1 vote to pass the bill out of committee, a mark of bipartisanship, consensus building that few believed was possible. That's what I believe Elena Kagan will bring to the court.
She was tough and tenacious in argument when necessary, but she also knew when it was necessary to strike a compromise. She had a knack for knowing how to win people over, an ability to make people see the wisdom of an argument."

"No doubt, her hands-on experience working the governance process is actually in this day and age -- and in this moment of the court -- probably an enormous asset. Frankly, I think it's a critical component of what makes her a terrific choice, someone who really understands how laws are created and the real-world effects of their implementation."

"Elizabeth Warren, Elena's colleague at Harvard and chair of the congressional panel currently overseeing our economic relief efforts, says simply, "She changed morale around here." 
Charles Fried, the former solicitor general under President Reagan and renowned conservative constitutional expert, says of her prospects as a justice on the Supreme Court, quote, "I think Elena would be terrific, because, frankly, the court is stuck. The great thing about Elena is there's a freshness about her that promises some possibility of getting away from the formulas that are wheeled out today on both sides. I have no reservations about her whatsoever." "

By Emi Kolawole  |  June 28, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
 
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