The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan are over. The final day included testimony from outside witnesses who support and oppose her nomination. With the hearings now concluded, the focus turns to the upcoming vote.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the Kagan nomination when it returns from its July 4th break during the week of July 19th. Once that occurs, the nomination will then go to the full Senate floor for a vote which is expected at the end of July or the first week of August.
Senators should carefully consider the areas of concern in her record and her answers during the confirmation hearings before voting to confirm her to a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has made up his mind. He said he will oppose the Kagan nomination when a vote occurs. Sen. Hatch said that a Supreme Court nominee needs "both legal experience and, more importantly, the appropriate judicial philosophy." And he said that "General Kagan regrettably does not meet this standard." Another Republican Senator, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, also has said he will oppose Kagan's confirmation.
Among those who remain concerned about Kagan is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) who told a reporter that he "was disappointed in the hearings." As Sen. Sessions put it: "I felt she was less than open, less than candid with us. . . she didn't say much. I thought she obfoscated her philosophy . . ."
Asked if he would vote for her confirmation, Sen. Sessions replied: "I am going to continue to review the record . . . my comfort level with this nominee is less today than before the hearing started . . . several different aspects of her testimony worried me . . ."
It is our hope that the members of the Senate will use this break to carefully consider Kagan's testimony and her views on issues raised during the confirmation hearing.