July 30th, 2010
06:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Nelson, Gregg announce Kagan votes

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.

"However, I have heard concerns from Nebraskans regarding Ms. Kagan, and her lack of a judicial record makes it difficult for me to discount the concerns raised by Nebraskans, or to reach a level of comfort that these concerns are unfounded. Therefore, I will not vote to confirm Ms. Kagan's nomination," Nelson said.

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.

Update 7:01 p.m. ET:

In a statement released Friday evening, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, said that he will vote in favor of Kagan's nomination.

"Ms. Kagan and I may have different political philosophies, but I believe that the confirmation process should be based on qualifications, not ideological litmus tests or political affiliation. I will vote for her confirmation," Gregg said.

"Ms. Kagan has pledged that she will exercise judicial restraint and decide each case that comes before her based on the law, with objectivity and without regard to her personal views. She also has served the American people under two different administrations and has a strong legal academic background. She is qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court."

On Wednesday, Sen. Olympia Snowe said she will vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the high court, making her the fourth Republican to come out in support of President Obama's nominee. Gregg is the fifth Republican to signal support for Kagan.

–CNN's Alexander Mooney and Mark Preston contributed to this report

Filed under: Ben Nelson • Elena Kagan • Judd Gregg • Supreme Court
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Victim of GOP Taliban

    "But one yes vote doesn't lead to another, the Nebraska Republican said"

    Oops CNN may want to fact check that or maybe it was a Freudian slip since Nelson is such a tool and turncoat of a Democrat. He might as well hold hands with Joe Lieberman already.

    July 30, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. George of the jungle

    Are we still at this. Give it a rest you repo nut jobs. It seems like the majority of repos can't find anything to say yes about. Wasteing our time and money.

    July 30, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Richard Shropshire

    What can cause more terror that a charge of "RINOS"?
    RINO: a dumb animal that can only remember the promises of the Democrats and not their lack of less honor than Lucy with football.
    How little they remember the maltreatment Robert Bork whose only crime was reverence for the Constitution. How easily they forget, that, to a Marxist, lying comes as easily as breathing, or to a "wise Hispanic woman' as well.

    July 30, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. R Stevens

    "But one yes vote doesn't lead to another, the Nebraska Republican said." - well this is incorrect, Ben Nelson is currently a Democrat. Maybe a DINO, but a democrat nonetheless.

    July 30, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Sunshine

    If thismemo exists, and Obama is preparing to bypass the Congress, then I suggest impeachment is in order for Obama is going against the will of the people and he is supporting law breakers, criminals, illegals from entering our country illegaly and he is supporting them. I am tired of this nonsense and it is high time that this Government wakes up to the fact Americans want the border secured and all illegals prosecuted.

    July 30, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    That is nothing more than a cop-out. But from this bunch it has come to be expected.

    July 30, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. oklahoma lib

    CNN, I know it's an easy mistake to make considering his stance on most things, but Sen Nelson is incorrectly identified here as a Republican, and he is fact, difficult as it is to believe, a Democrat. But I totally see how you got there.

    July 30, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Charles Lemos

    "But one yes vote doesn't lead to another, the Nebraska Republican said."

    Nelson may seem like a Republican but technically he is a Democrat.

    July 30, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    somebody forgot to proofread this, Ben Nelson is a D not an R (though he typically votes like one).

    July 30, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. La Piovra

    I fear that for this gesture of compromise, Senator Gregg will again be forced to listen to anonymous renditions of "Poor Jud is Daid".

    July 30, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. fishy fish

    Haha, even CNN knows that this guy is a Republican.

    July 30, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. oklahoma lib

    CNN incorrectly identified Ben Nelson as a republican. He's a Democrat, but it's totally understandable that you would assume he's a republican.

    July 30, 2010 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  13. S. C. C.

    Did Senator Nelson vote for President Obama or did he vote
    for McClain?
    It seems to me he has voted against all of Pres. Obama's
    I do believe that Senator Nelson a Democrat is a racist.

    July 30, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Dennis

    Isn't Ben Nelson a Democrat, or did I miss a change of party?

    July 30, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Because the supreme court isn't quite conservative enough. Hahaha. Have a nice day!

    July 30, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. Albo58

    Cop out!

    July 30, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. When Did Nelson Switch Parties?

    Interesting. I thought Ben Nelson was a Democrat. Breaking news from CNN: Ben Nelson now a Republican.

    July 30, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. Thom

    CNN! Where are your factcheckers??

    Ben Nelson is a DEMOCRAT. Not a Republican. Sheesh.

    July 30, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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