Senate Judiciary Committee approves Elena Kagan's nomination to Supreme Court

Elena Kagan committee vote
Elena Kagan committee vote Jimmy Kuo/KPCC

By a 13-6 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote wasn't a surprise.

Democratic members of the committee, including California's Dianne Feinstein, made it clear early on that they intended to vote yes. Feinstein said that, in her mind, "there is no question about Elena Kagan’s qualifications for this highest court."

Feinstein said Kagan’s credentials place her among the nation’s top legal minds, as demonstrated by the nominee’s answers on subjects from environmental law to gun rights. She added there’s another reason to confirm Kagan.

"Given the stark division on the current Supreme Court," Feinstein said, "where 5-4 decisions have overturned previously established law, it becomes more and more apparent that we need a return to the center." Feinstein said Kagan could become the voice for moderation and consensus on the high court.

The committee vote broke down along party lines, with the exception of South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham who gave the thumbs up. He said Kagan wasn’t someone he would have chosen, but that the person who did nominate her chose wisely.

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