By Associated Press Writer
updated 5/10/2010 10:25:58 AM ET 2010-05-10T14:25:58

President Barack Obama says Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan understands that the law affects ordinary people in profound ways and is not an intellectual exercise.

He said Monday that Kagan could have had a comfortable life as a private-sector lawyer but instead chose a life of service to students, her country and the law.

Obama said Kagan's parents, both deceased, impressed upon her the importance of service, character and integrity.

Obama introduced Kagan in the East Room of the White House.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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