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Conservative Friends Rise In Support Of Kagan

Publication Date: 
May 14, 2010
Source: 
Salon.com - AP
Author: 
Mark Sherman

Professor Michael McConnell is quoted in this article on conservative support for Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.Mark Sherman filed this story:

Conservative lawyers and academics are voicing support for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, praise that could soften criticism from the right and provide cover for any Republican senators inclined to vote for her nomination.

The essence of their take on Kagan, the former Harvard Law School dean who now serves as solicitor general, is that she clearly has the smarts to be a justice and has shown an ability to work with all sides on thorny issues.

"She has had a remarkable and truly unusual record of reaching out across ideological divides," said Michael McConnell, a former federal appeals court judge who was nominated by President George W. Bush.

...

McConnell, who teaches law at Stanford University, agreed with Severino that Kagan's stand on military recruiters was a "dreadful decision." But he said that Harvard was like many other major law schools at that time in seeking to bar military recruiters over discrimination against gays. He said the episode was "not a serious black eye."

He also said that Kagan will be a safe liberal vote in most cases that divide on ideological grounds.

Yet, he said, "As I chat with other center-right law professors, she's got overwhelming affection and support."

He attributed some of that support to Kagan's openness to arguments across the political spectrum.

"She's a bit unusual in this respect, particularly at this juncture when not just the Supreme Court but the country basically is divided into two camps that often cannot speak to each other," McConnell said. Kagan, who has known McConnell since their days as law professors at the University of Chicago in the early 1990s, wrote a letter of support for McConnell in 2002 urging Senate Democrats to confirm him.