July 30th, 2010
06:21 PM ET
10 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. Tyrell A

    The article lists Nelson as a Nebraska Republican, but he is actually a (very, very conservative) Democrat. Needs to be corrected.

    July 30, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. CR

    Ben Nelson may seem like a republican, but he is actually a democrat.

    July 30, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    To bad; this woman needs to be filibustered or whatever but she should not be serving on the SC.

    July 30, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    to bad; this woman should not be serving on the SC. Her views are to radical.

    July 30, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. DollParts

    Isn't it way past time that Ben Nelson changed party affiliation?

    July 30, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. Glenn

    Just wanted to point out that Bill Nelson is a democrat not a republican as the article states. He might not be a very good one but he still claims to be a democrat.

    July 30, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    DINO - if your constituents don't vote you out next time, you'd better watch your back. Too many people in other parts of the country hate you.

    July 30, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Hooray for editing and good journalism. Cross your Ts and dot your lower case Js before you send something out into the world Chuck.

    July 30, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Katy Rosati

    Ben Nelson is a Democrat, not a Republican.

    July 30, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |

    Ben Nelson will lose regardless in 2012.........
    A republican will replace him..........Good riddance he's such a turncoat. He's trying to make Nebraska forget about his vote on Healthcare......
    As a progressive GOPer, I get sick to my stomach watching Nelson run away from the RIGHT side of history.......
    The DEMS are correct on policy, but have no SPINE.

    July 30, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Mike Johanns

    Sen. Ben Nelson is a Democrat! I'm the Republican!

    July 30, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Ben Nelson isn't any more of a Democrat than Joe Lieberman is. He should be voter out by the good people of Nebraska.

    July 30, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Andre

    I like how CNN 'confirmed' Ben Nelson's true political colors.

    July 30, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Cathy, Los Angeles, CA

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

    Interesting mistake from CNN.... Nelson is a Democrat. He often votes like a Republican, so easy to make the mistake. But it is a glaring mistake. Very sloppy.

    July 30, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Zach K

    I'm from his state, and he is no Democrat. I've dealt with him time, and time again, but because of this little gesture, he just lost my vote for the 2012 Primaries. Johanns and Heineman are no saints either.

    July 30, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Malt

    She's smart and likable, but she's just another liberal rubber stamp.

    Sotomayer said that she wouldn't legislate from the bench, but her first act of business was to vote AGAINST the second amendment (guns rights)–her way to say thanks to Obama for 30 years of future employment.

    Kagan hasn't even been a judge.

    July 30, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. cocitizen

    Hopefully Ben Nelson will do the Democratic party a favor next year and become a Republican, since that is what he really is. Is there any way we can just slice Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa out of the union?

    July 30, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Ken, AZ

    This does not surprise me. I vote that Ben Nelson change party affiliation to republican. Who needs him?

    July 30, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. PayAttention

    Nelson is a DEMOCRAT.

    July 30, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. x-rev

    I believe that Sen Nelson is actually a democrate, and not republican as this article states. Unless something has changed since the last election.

    July 30, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Disappointed in Nelson....Again

    Nelson's not a Republican as the article states..............he just always votes with them!

    July 30, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. colowest

    Man, CNN wonders why its ratings are going down the toilet??

    Riley, here's a Special News Bulletin - Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is, or at least claims to be, a DEMOCRAT.

    July 30, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Julian F.

    You mean "Nebraska Democrat".

    July 30, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. goofus

    Last time I checked Ben Nelson was a democrat CNN! You ought to know one of your own !

    July 30, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Is Timothy McVeigh would have been a teabag leader today

    Ben Nelson will make millions as a lobbyist once he gets kicked out.That law needs to be changed,you should never be allowed to become a lobbyist.

    July 30, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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