A close friend of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has come forward to dispel rumors that Obama's pick to replace John Paul Stevens is a lesbian. In an interview with Politico, Sarah Walzer, Kagan’s roommate in law school and a close friend since then, says:

I’ve known her for most of her adult life and I know she’s straight. She dated men when we were in law school, we talked about men — who in our class was cute, who she would like to date, all of those things. She definitely dated when she was in D.C. after law school, when she was in Chicago - and she just didn’t find the right person... It’s an ongoing challenge for very smart women - there are not very many men who would choose women who are smarter than they are.

Walzer says that Kagan's friends have long been reluctant to dispel rumors about her sexual orientation out of fear of being perceived as prejudiced against gays. The rumors radically intensified once Kagan made Obama's short list of nominees, and were amplified by the fact that Kagan is unmarried, apparently single, and possesses personal attributes which some associate with lesbians (i.e. short hair and softball participation). "There is this assumption that people make at a single point about women who get to their 40s or 50s and never marry that it must be because they’re gay," Walzer says. "It’s just usually that they don’t get nominated for the Supreme Court and have everybody talking about them, so nobody really cares."

Meanwhile, Republicans are busy trying to dig up dirt, and are taking a time machine back to the Clinton administration, where Kagan served as domestic policy adviser. Documents will be requested from the Clinton library in Arkansas, which Republicans hope will shed "light" on Kagan's opaque political views. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the conservative top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, tells the Post, "It is a confirmation, it's not a coronation." And Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch—who voted to approve Kagan as Obama's Solicitor General—says Kagan's decision to oppose military recruitment by the ROTC when she was dean of Harvard Law School because of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is a "very serious problem."

Below, Jon Stewart's funny segment on the looming confirmation scuffle, entitled "Release the Kagan":