Alan Dershowitz, an emeritus professor at Harvard Law School, confirmed for Megyn Kelly during an appearance on Tuesday’s Kelly File that Ted Cruz was one of the smartest students he ever had. Dershowitz said teachers love to be challenged. And Cruz disagreed with everything he said and made such brilliant arguments that Dershowitz never had to play the devil’s advocate.

Dershowitz also admitted he took a lot of criticism from his lefty friends for being truthful about Cruz. He also told Kelly that Cruz’s politics were the opposite of Dershowitz’, but they were clear, principled, unwavering, and very intelligently presented.

You can watch the interesting exchange in the first two minutes of the following interview:

Transcript:

KELLY:  You taught Ted Cruz when he was a young whippersnapper.  What is your impression of him?”

DERSHOWITZ:  He came into my class, literally his first day in law school with his right had up – not his left hand, his right hand. Everything I said, he challenged me. He was one of the best students I ever had because a teacher loves to be challenged. I use the Socratic method. Everything I said he disagreed with. I was against the death penalty. He’s in favor. I was in favor of the exclusionary rule, he’s against it. And he made such brilliant arguments that I never had to play the devil’s advocate.

KELLY:  Even as a law student he was there, he had that sort of thinking?

DERSHOWITZ:  He had been a champion debater at Princeton and he and his Princeton roommate sat next to each other, and he was an African-American, a black kid from Jamaica, two of the most brilliant guys at Harvard Law school. And they were inseparable. And they had a team tag match. One guy finished, the other guy would raise his hand.

KELLY:  Did you know what Ted Cruz’s politics were at the time?

DERSHOWITZ:  His politics were clear, principled, unwavering, and very intelligently presented.

KELLY:  You said he was one of the smartest students you ever had. Is that true or is that hyperbole?

DERSHOWITZ:  No, it’s true, and in fact I got a lot of criticism from my friends on the left saying, “Why are you saying that?” I’m a professor. I have to tell the truth about my students even if I disagree with their views. Even if I’m not gonna vote for him, I’m not gonna change history.