By a 63-to-37 vote, the US Senate today approved the nomination of Elena Kagan to the nation’s high court. That means for the first time in history, three women will wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.
Inside the Senate chamber, it was “standing room only” as visitors packed the gallery and pages lined the doorways. Senators marked the occasion by casting votes as they sat at their desks – a ritual rarely seen.
Minnesota Democrat Al Franken presided over the vote, reminding the gallery that "any expressions of approval or inapproval are inappropriate."
The tally was 63-37. Franken announced, "the nomination is confirmed."
California’s two Democratic Senators cast “yes” votes. Dianne Feinstein praised Kagan for her gifts as a conciliator. "I think this is a great day," she said. "I happen to believe Elena Kagan is going to surprise people. I think she’s going to be a very fine associate justice."
Barbara Boxer echoed the theme. "I think that Elena Kagan was an excellent choice," she said, "because what the President was looking for – and frankly I think a lot of people were looking for – is someone who can bring people together."
Kagan will be sworn in on Saturday by Chief Justice John Roberts.