[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/18/art.kagan.gi.jpg caption="Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday."]Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, continuing to lay the groundwork for her upcoming confirmation hearings through a series of meetings with key senators.
Kagan was slated to meet with Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Patty Murray of Washington, Al Franken of Minnesota, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
Also on the schedule are GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Democrats have offered overwhelming praise for the 50-year-old nominee, claiming she would be a fair, independent member of the high court and a worthy replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Republicans have questioned among other things, Kagan's lack of experience on the federal bench and whether she would act independently of President Barack Obama's agenda.
They've also strongly criticized Kagan, currently the Justice Department's solicitor general, for her efforts to block military recruiters from Harvard University during her time as the school's law school dean because of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The policy, opposed by Obama, prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.
If confirmed, Kagan would become the third woman on the current nine-member bench and the fourth woman in the court's history.
- CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report