President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan yesterday defended her decision to limit military recruiting at Harvard and rejected Republican charges she would be a liberal judicial activist.


Under questioning from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan calmly brushed off complaints she was more interested in politics than legal precedent and promised her rulings would be based solely on the law.


“My politics would be, must be, have to be completely separate from my judging,” Kagan said on the second day of her confirmation hearing. “The question is always what the law says.”


Sen. Jeff Sessions, the panel’s senior Republican, pressed Kagan on whether she would follow Obama’s political agenda and whether she was a “liberal progressive.”


“I honestly don’t know what that means,” Kagan said. “This isn’t a job, I think, where somebody should come in with a particular substantive agenda and try to shape what they do to meet that agenda.”

Kagan, 50, has sparked little controversy compared to other Supreme Court nominees and appears headed to relatively easy confirmation. Her nomination has been overshadowed by recent events, including the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the removal of Afghanistan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal.