Kagan An Eager, Tough-Talking Political Player

Elena Kagan will face a grilling from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, as the committee holds confirmation hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court. But a look into Kagan's past shows the U.S. solicitor general is no stranger to defending herself -- and is willing to work with her ideological opposites. As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan welcomed the thousand or so members of the right-leaning Federalist Society in 2005, but let them know she shared few of their views on the law and society. "You are not my people," she told them. Yet the conservative and libertarian faithful that night cheered Kagan's honesty and willingness to mix it up with her ideological opposites. It is that reputation as a consensus-builder that has earned the solicitor general positive reviews on the left and right.