(CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has largely remained stoic during her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the potential top court justice said Tuesday she did break down during one part of the confirmation process.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy read Kagan an op-ed from former Harvard Law graduate and Marine Captain Robert Merrill in which he praises Kagan's controversial dealings with the military when she served as dean at Harvard.
"Senator Leahy that was... this has been a sort of long process, this process and sometimes an arduous one," said Kagan. "I've only cried once during this process and I cried when I woke up one morning and I read that op-ed from Captain Merrill. It meant just an enormous amount to me. He is a magnificent man doing great things for our country and his praise meant more to me than anybody's."
In the op-ed, Merrill writes, "if Elena Kagan is anti-military she certainly didn't show it. She treated the veterans at Harvard like VIPs. She was a fervent advocate of our veterans association."
Kagan has faced fire for her attempts to block military recruiting from the Harvard Law School campus because of her opposition to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.