June 29th, 2010
12:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Kagan: I've only cried once during process

 Kagan said Tuesday she did break down during one part of the confirmation process.
Kagan said Tuesday she did break down during one part of the confirmation process.

(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.


Filed under: Elena Kagan • Popular Posts • Supreme Court
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    It all ways amazes me how many people automatically assume you do not support the troops when you question the actions of their bosses. She did right !

    June 29, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. notamused

    another prop job piece

    June 29, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Dean

    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."-----------This comment made her cry???? Yea right.

    June 29, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    Kagan is unfit for the Court. Her belief that the Federal government has unlimited power is against the basic premise of the US constitution.

    Only lunatic liberals support this woman.

    June 29, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. harvey kenemore

    FINALLY, someone with a heart is going to the Supreme Court...!

    June 29, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Greg Walker

    Awww...who would have guessed Leaky Leahy would loft a softball like that during a confirmation hearing. Thanks to idiots (like Leahy) on both sides of the isle, nobody knows anything about this nominee's experience or qualifications. Just typical grandstanding and posing while the country goes down the tubes.

    June 29, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Natch

    But it's that opposition that makes her unfit to judge others. She took a perfectly legal policy, supported by the Constitution of the United States of America, and not only said it was wrong (her right, also under the Constitution), but also took action against the military establishment for having that policy. In other words, she basically said she didn't care that the policy was constitutionally sound, it was wrong because she felt it was.

    As a Supreme Court justice, you don't get to decide whether something is right or wrong, only if it's consitutional. And there's plenty of people who question whether she can do that, and some who believe she cannot. And at her age, she would have many years ahead of her if appointed to the bench.

    Wouldn't it be a crying shame if she forgot her duty there, and went by her gut instinct, instead of by what the Constitution says?

    June 29, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Wanda

    Boo-Hoo Extreme Liberal flesh and bone

    June 29, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. MoJo

    Why doesn't a moron like Jeff Sessions have the brains and decency to recuse himself from the hearings? Having been rejected for a Fed judgeship when the GOP was in control you'd think he had an axe to grind about it, right?

    June 29, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Lara Ballard

    I am a lesbian former Army officer and Columbia Law School grad. I found the op-ed similarly moving, and it made me think well of Ms. Kagan. As a part of both the GLBT and the veterans' community, I felt pulled in two different directions throughout most of law school. There has really been no good answer for law schools that are trying to enforce non-discrimination policies (some of which are mandated by state or local law) and yet are required or forced to accommodate military recruiters who are required to follow Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It is important for law schools to stand up for their values, but equally important for the schools not to foster an anti-military animus as part of that process, particularly given that there are members of the student body who are themselves military veterans. It sounds like Ms. Kagan handled the situation as well as anyone possibly could have. The problem is not Ms. Kagan, the law schools, or the military; the problem is the very ill-conceived Don' t Ask, Don't Tell law, which needs to be repealed by Congress.

    June 29, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    Take that you macho Draft Dodging Republicans !

    June 29, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. DB

    The GOP needs to get over their arrogance and "poor loser" syndrome

    June 29, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, we all remember the heroic way our military's might was protected during by the Bush administration's enforcement of the DADT, firing much needed arabic translators who were working to keep our troops safe. Bravo! As opposed to the sinister way in which Kagan was resisting the overwhelming number of people who wanted the join the military after going to Harvard Law School... Yes, those numbers decimated our military...

    June 29, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Peter E

    This issue is a distraction. The real issue is her lack of judicial experience. Although admittedly the right wing's judicial deity, the late William Rhenquist also didn't have any judicial experience before being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

    June 29, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. DAW NC

    watch the repulicans turn this into something it isn't, they can not understand that you can disagree and still respect the other persons opinions and not call them unpatriotic, a socialist, a liberal or some term. they have to categorize everyone who disagrees with them in a negative fashion

    June 29, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. scott

    u should b pride when the republicans compare u 2 thurgood marshall a great civil rights leader.these repubs r so stipid and ignorant what fools they r!

    June 29, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Get A Grip

    Well, when Kagan gets appointed we'll all be crying every morning

    June 29, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. carolyn

    She'd better be carefull- those old nasty republicans will probably say she's too weak to be a Supreme Court Justice.

    June 29, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Celeste

    Senator Sessions and the dysfunctional Republicans should stop trying to draw blood and try and do one honorable thing this year. This woman is more than qualified to do this job!

    June 29, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. An Optimistic American

    But that can't be right! I saw Sen. Sessions this morning berating Elena Kagan and calling her '...anti-military."

    The experiences of a military veteran who was there at the time and worked directly with Dean Kagan cannot possibly match the partisan rant of a US Senator grandstanding for the conservative media.

    Certainly we all understand that Capt. Merrill is mistaken. Afterall, we have the word of Jeff Sessions, who was not even there at the time, as to what really happened.

    Thanks goodness Sen. Sessions is here to keep the record straight!

    June 29, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Law

    What people don't all realize is that the American Bar Association (the accrediting agency for law schools) has a policy that law schools are not allowed to allow recruiting on a law campus of any employer who discriminates based on certain uncontrollable factors (sex, orientation, race, origin, etc) ... the military's DADT policy discriminates based on orientation and therefore law schools (all of them) walk a fine line.

    June 29, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Gil

    I have the greatest respect for Kagan and the greatest disrespect for our out of control military fighting two illegal wars!

    June 29, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Liberals are poison

    Boohoohoo, that's not very "butch" of her to do so. Expect a filibuster for this nominee who is totally unqualified for SCOTUS.

    June 29, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. ac

    Crying is a human emotion and it is ok to cry. However, she would like to keep it to herself. A judge is not entitled to show those kind of emotions in public. It shows that you may become to emotional during the decision process. Her cried was not a good sign.

    June 29, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. sifto

    She still voted against them–crying seems to be a sympathy thing for herself–how did she think the brave military people felt with her meanness? Why should she be praised for such a vicious act?

    June 29, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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