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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Norm Eisen is no friend of Donald Trump's. President Obama's former "ethics czar" has been hammering the new President with an array of conflicts of interest questions.

But Eisen seems relatively relaxed about the prospect of Trump picking Eisen's old Harvard Law classmate, Neil Gorsuch, to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, Eisen and a guy named Barack Obama were all in the star-studded 1991 class.

It was a law school class crowded with luminaries, of all political persuasions...but Neil was right up there. And he's a very decent person, too.

We spoke to Eisen on Tuesday afternoon while waiting for the official SCOTUS announcement.

Here are Eisen's notes on Gorsuch:

  • He was known as a conservative back then, but he wasn't viewed as one of the "strident conservatives" in the law class.
  • Eisen praised his decency and willingness to entertain others' opinions.
  • "He's not a shouter, but he penetrates to the heart of the matter...even if you don't agree with him he makes you think."
  • Eisen has closely followed Gorsuch's opinions through his legal career. Though he disagrees with Gorsuch politically, he praises his written opinions as "careful" and "literate."

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.