From NBC's Ken Strickland
Though he withheld comment on whether he will ultimately support her Supreme Court nomination, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham gave Elena Kagan generally positive reviews following their meeting today.
"I think she's done a pretty good job" in her current position as U.S. solicitor general, Graham told reporters. He specifically cited her work on issues pertaining to the laws of war -- a topic he described as "something that's near and dear to my heart."
"For the most part, I think she's taken pretty well-reasoned positions about legal rights of detainees," he said. But he quickly added, "I really don't know how I'm going to view her until we have the hearings."
Graham also wasn't that critical of Kagan on two arguments Republicans have made about her candidacy.
Regarding her actions restricting military recruiters as dean of Harvard Law, he said: "I think I understand her position better. I didn't find her differences with DOD policy to translate that she doesn't admire and respect our men and women in uniform. I didn't find that to be the case at all."
And he said her lack of judicial experience was not a disqualifier. "However, I do think it makes the hearings more important in her writings, in her opinions, in positions she's taken as solicitor general... 'cause it's the only way we can look into her qualifications, temperament, and judicial philosophy."
Graham is a member of the Judiciary Committee. He was out of town for Kagan's final confirmation vote as solicitor general. And he was one of nine Republicans who voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court last year.