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A top White House lawyer for Ronald Reagan, Douglas Kmiec is an unlikely supporter of Barack Obama—which makes him the president's most important Roman Catholic booster. Kmiec's close ties to the church—he's a former dean of Catholic University's law school—mean he can defend Obama's social policies against critical Catholic bishops without being branded a "Catholic in name only." He supports Obama's approach to reducing abortion through means other than limiting abortion rights. And Kmiec says the president's stances on the Iraq war and healthcare echo Catholic social teaching. Obama recently nominated him to be U.S. ambassador to Malta. But his pro-Obama activism, which includes his 2008 book Can a Catholic Support Him? has also cost him; Kmiec has drawn rebukes from onetime conservative allies and has been denied communion for backing a pro-abortion-rights president.