What Kagan Faces in Senate Committee Vote Today

How they'll vote and what's next

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination today. The 19-member committee, 12 of whom are Democrats, is widely expected to approve Kagan, sending her to the full Senate for further hearings. Here's what Kagan faces in turns of expectations, support, opposition, and next steps.

  • Most Americans Supportive, Inattentive  The Washington Post's Jennifer Agiesta reports, "a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the U.S. Solicitor General continues to garner majority public support in her bid to become the fourth woman to sit on the high court. Other recent polling on the nomination also finds that more favor Kagan's confirmation than oppose it, but the results across polls suggest fairly widespread inattention toward the nomination fight as her confirmation hearings closed and her bid heads for a final vote. In the Post-ABC poll, 53 percent say the Senate should vote to confirm Kagan's nomination. One-quarter say the Senate should vote against her, while one in five express no opinion."
  • Sessions: Why I'm Opposing  Republican Senator Jeff Sessions explains in USA Today, "After carefully reviewing Elena Kagan's record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I must oppose her nomination. ... Throughout her career, Ms. Kagan has placed her politics above the law. She has never been a judge, never tried a case before a jury and has practiced law for only three years. She is the least experienced nominee in the last half-century."
  • Two Republicans Who Might Vote Yes  Law blogger Elie Mystal predicts, "The Senate Judiciary Committee should vote on Elena Kagan today. I’ll set the over/under for Republican support at 1. But I’m going to go out on a limb and take the over: [Lindsey] Graham and [Orrin] Hatch."
  • Graham Announces Support  The Washington Independent's Jimm Phillips writes, "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) just announced during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s televised executive session that he will vote for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation, becoming the only Republican so far either on the Senate Judiciary Committee or in the Senate at large to break party ranks. Graham said that while he disagrees with Kagan’s politics, he would vote for her because 'the last election had consequences. ... What’s in Elena Kagan’s heart is that of a good person who adopts a philosophy that I disagree with. ... There’s plenty of reasons for a conservative to vote no, but there are plenty of reasons for a conservative to vote yes.'"
  • This Could Ensure Full Senate Confirmation  Time's Jay Newton-Small writes, "Now, here's where Kagan's path to the Supreme Court could get interesting. Pro-life groups have been picketing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's offices, urging him to filibuster Kagan. The right has been struggling to make Kagan into the Samuel Alito of the left: a polarizing figure that gins up – and proves lucrative with --the base. ... If Republicans close ranks, a filibuster could kill Kagan's nomination. But there has not seemed the appetite, even in this hyperpartisan atmosphere, to take such a drastic step. ... Graham's support today would indicate he'd probably vote for her on the floor of the Senate, thereby giving Dems the one vote they need to defeat a GOP filibuster."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.