Bush administration lawyers praise Kagan
By Aaron Blake
A pair of Bush administration lawyers on Thursday praised Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a brilliant legal mind who puts the law first.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee called the witnesses in support of the nomination of Kagan, as evidence of her bipartisan support in the legal community.
Jack Goldsmith, who worked with Kagan as a Harvard law professor after he left the Bush Justice Department, said Kagan's style as dean of the law school helped students reach their potential.
"I don't think she was interested in achieving balance for balance's sake," Goldsmith said. "I think she thought that excellence in the law school required an intellectual environment where every idea can flourish."
Gregory Garre, who served under Bush as the solicitor general before Kagan, said her reputation is sterling among career lawyers in the office of the government's top Supreme Court attorney.
"One can hold different views on the important legal issues facing the country and still conclude that Gen. Kagan is well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court," Garre said.
Among other character witnesses called by Democrats was Robert C. Clark, who preceded Kagan as law school dean.
Clark said Kagan has an exacting legal mind - so much so that she could never be an activist judge, as some Republicans have charged.
"A lawyer who actually does this as she does is unlikely to get too creative or loose," Clark said. "When she makes decisions as a judge, she will feel obligated to follow the law, not make it up."
After Kagan concluded her testimony Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee called three panels worth of witnesses to speak to Kagan's personal qualities and actions.
July 1, 2010; 6:17 PM ET
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