Kagan has faced Republican attacks that she is anti-military because she backed a policy at Harvard Law School that banned military recruiters from doing work through the Office of Career Services. Harvard opposed having the recruiters work through the office because of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, which it saw is discriminatory.
In a post on its blog, the White House wrote that Kagan is in no way anti-military because of her position at Harvard on the so-called "Don't ask, don't tell" law.
"Of course Kagan’s opposition to the policy was in no way anti-military -- just as opposition today from figures such as General Colin Powell or Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen is rooted in admiration for all those who serve, so too was Kagan’s."
The White House's push-back comes after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) this weekend issued perhaps the sharpest critique of her stance on the issue, saying that President Barack Obama should withdraw her nomination.
"The very fact that she led the effort ... to block the military from Harvard Law School" over opposition to the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy should disqualify her for anti-military sentiment, Gingrich said.
"I see no reason ... why the Senate would confirm an anti-military Supreme Court justice," he said.
Senate Republicans are not expected to filibuster Kagan's nomination, but she could face tough questions from senators about the issue during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The White House has argued both before and after Kagan was nominated that military recruiters were still allowed to operate on campus through the privately-run Harvard Law Students Veterans Association. Recruitment numbers stayed steady during her tenure as dean, the White House has noted.
Lee also cited comments Republican Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) made last week that he was satisfied with answers Kagan gave to his questions about the issue.