Washington (CNN) – Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a statement Monday after President Obama's announcement.
"I congratulate Elena Kagan on her nomination to the Supreme Court," Leahy said in the written statement. "The President chose from an impressive list of superbly qualified candidates. He consulted with Senators on both sides of the aisle, and with others. As a scholar of the Constitution himself, he brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to his selection process. He wanted to select an outstanding future Justice who is well within the mainstream of legal and constitutional thought, and her recent Senate confirmation to be Solicitor General of the United States would appear to support that."
Leahy added, "The Senate has adequate time to thoroughly review Ms. Kagan’s impressive qualifications and academic writings, as well as her court filings and oral arguments while she has served the nation as Solicitor General, and consider her nomination this summer. I will work with Senator Sessions, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to schedule her confirmation hearing promptly. The Senate acted responsibly to confirm both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor before the start of the Court’s term in both of those instances. Applying the same standard to this nomination, the Senate should confirm Ms. Kagan before the August recess.
"Among the most serious constitutional duties entrusted to the Senate is the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices. Americans are looking to Washington to cast aside the political rancor and partisanship that has fueled so many recent debates. The decisions made at the nation’s highest court affect the daily lives of all Americans. Our constituents deserve a civil and thoughtful debate on this nomination, followed by an up-or-down vote."