U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who last week ruled “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” unconstitutional, is no “activist” judge, colleagues say.

In her 86-page opinion, Phillips declared the 1993 law, which prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian service members who do not remain closeted or celibate, an unconstitutional violation of the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gay troops. She said the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

The ruling, issued Thursday, was quickly dismissed by gay rights opponents, who labeled Phillips an “activist” judge.

“Once again, homosexual activists have found a judicial activist that will aid in the advancement of their agenda,” Tony Perkins, president of social conservative Family Research Council, said in a statement.

But colleagues have painted a very different picture of the Clinton-appointed judge.

Speaking to the New York Times, her mentor at the Best, Best & Krieger law firm early in her career, Arthur Littleworth, said Phillips is anything but an ideologue. “She is balanced,” he insisted.

Another former colleague who served with the 53-year-old judge for 10 years called her “one of the hardest-working judges I know.”

“No matter how early I came in, no matter how late I stayed, her car would still be there,” Stephen G. Larson, who returned to private practice last year, told the paper.

At a news conference on Friday, President Barack Obama was not asked about the implications of the ruling or whether his administration was planning an appeal.

In a Twitter post after the conference, Kerry Eleveld, a White House correspondent for gay glossy The Advocate, said the president has yet to take a question from the LGBT press since being elected.