Elena Kagan is expected to be confirmed as the 112th justice to the Supreme Court Thursday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) - Elena Kagan is expected to be confirmed as the 112th justice to the Supreme Court Thursday and could be sworn into her judicial post by week's end.
On Wednesday, the influential Mexican American Legal Defense Fund decided not to endorse the 50-year-old solicitor general and to remain "neutral."
"This rare decision comes because Kagan's record as an attorney is too ambiguous for MALDEF to make an informed determination about her current knowledge and potential understanding of Latino legal concerns," the group's president, Thomas Saenz, wrote in a commentary written for the online news Website the Huffington Post.
The group, founded in 1968, is a national non-profit civil rights organization focusing on Latino issues.
Five Republicans have so far signaled their intention to vote for Kagan, meaning conservatives don't have the strength in numbers to delay the proceedings with a filibuster.
Washington (CNN) - Senators are expected to continue floor debate Wednesday on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
The 50-year-old solicitor general is expected to be confirmed as the 112th justice on Thursday, and could be sworn into her judicial post by week's end.
On Tuesday, the debate centered on Kagan's lack of judicial experience, and whether that would hurt her ability to sit on the nation's highest court. All nine members of the current court came from various federal appeals courts.
Washington (CNN) - Senators began floor debate Tuesday on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, with Republicans mustering little desire to delay a final vote. The 50-year-old solicitor general is expected to be confirmed as the 112th justice on Thursday, and would be sworn into her judicial post by week's end.
The start of three days of off-and-on debate centered on Kagan's lack of judicial experience, and whether that would hurt her ability to sit on the nation's highest court. All nine members of the current court came from various federal appeals courts.
"I have long urged presidents from both political parties to look outside what I have called 'the judicial monastery,'" said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who, by tradition, kicked off the Senate debate. "Her credentials and legal abilities have been extolled by many from across the political spectrum including [retired] Justice [Sandra Day] O'Connor and Justice [Antonin] Scalia. No one can question the intelligence or achievements of this woman. No one should question her character either."
The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) raised concerns that her past work in the Clinton White House and her lack of a judicial background would make her a political "activist" on the bench. "She has less real legal experience than any Supreme Court nominee in 50 years," noted Sessions. "Her testimony and her history demonstrate a dangerous political approach to the law that is contrary to our magnificent heritage of an impartial judge who fairly decides disputes."
Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, according to a new poll. But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey also indicates that there is a large partisan divide over Kagan's nomination.
Fifty-four percent of people questioned say they would like to see senators vote in favor of Kagan serving on the high court, with 34 percent opposed.
"That gives Kagan virtually the same amount of support that the public gave the two most recent Supreme Court nominees - Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito - just days before they were confirmed by the Senate," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The survey's Tuesday release comes as the full Senate is scheduled to begin deliberations on Kagan's nomination.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ben Nelson said Friday that he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, but will vote for the cloture, a move that will help bring the nomination to an up or down vote.
"As a member of the bipartisan 'Gang of 14,' I will follow our agreement that judicial nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances," Nelson said in a statement. "If a cloture vote is held on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am prepared to vote for cloture and oppose a filibuster because, in my view, this nominee deserves an up or down vote in the Senate."
But one yes vote doesn't lead to another, the Nebraska Democrat said.
(CNN) – Sen. Olympia Snowe said Wednesday she will vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth Republican to come out in support of President Obama's nominee to the high court.
"Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have applied a uniform standard for evaluating nominees for the United States Supreme Court, under both Republican and Democratic administrations," said Snowe in statement. "I find that Ms. Kagan has met that standard with the strong intellect, respect for the rule of law, and understanding of the important but limited role of the Supreme Court that I believe is required of any Justice.”
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, have also said they will vote for Kagan. No Democrats have expressed opposition to Kagan.
The current solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean is expected to easily win confirmation, but likely with less Republican support than the nine GOP votes Justice Sonia Sotomayor garnered a year ago.
Full statement from Snowe, after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to become the nation's fourth female Supreme Court justice, setting up a final confirmation vote by the Senate.
The committee vote broke down mostly along partisan lines, with one Republican joining the panel's Democrats in sending the nomination to the full Senate on a 13-6 vote.
Democrats repeatedly characterized Kagan as a strong legal thinker who would be a fair judge, while Republicans slammed her as an inexperienced activist who would be unable to divorce her legal judgments from her political opinions.
Members on both sides expressed frustration with a confirmation hearing process many observers say increasingly yields few clear answers about a nominee's judicial philosophy.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) – The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
A vote was originally scheduled for July 13, but was delayed at the request of Republicans.
Such a delay is permitted under committee rules. The panel had a similar delay last year when considering the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
The Judiciary Committee held four days of hearings on Kagan's nomination before Congress went on its Fourth of July recess.
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.