Washington (CNN) – Pointing to Solicitor General Elena Kagan's support for televising Supreme Court arguments and her affinity for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, Sen. Arlen Specter says that Kagan has done 'just enough' to win his support for her high court nomination.
In a largely critical editorial in USA Today, Specter took issue with much of the way Kagan handled herself during her recent confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel on which Specter sits.
"Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan did little to undo the impression that nominating hearings are little more than a charade in which cautious non-answers take the place of substantive exchanges," Specter writes in the op-ed.
The Republican-turned-Democrat criticizes Kagan for failing to provide any real insights to her judicial philosophy in general and her specific views on a number of legal issues, many of which have to do with the basis and extent of congressional authority.
But Specter praised Kagan's support for televising high court arguments. "Her testimony recognized that the court is a public institution that should be available to all Americans, not just the select few who can travel to Washington," Specter writes of Kagan's belief that cameras should be allowed in the nation's most prestigious courtroom.
Specter says this position, along with Kagan's respect for the late Justice Marshall, are enough –notwithstanding his other concerns about her nomination.
"In addition to her intellect, academic and professional qualifications, Kagan did just enough to win my vote by her answers that television would be good for the country and the court, and by identifying Justice Marshall as her role model," the Pennsylvania senator writes.
Specter, who left the GOP and ran for re-election as a Democrat, was defeated in the primary by Rep. Joe Sestak.
When Kagan's nomination to be solicitor general came before the Senate last year, Specter voted against her.