Hat Tip: By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan Thursday as the Supreme Court’s 112th justice and the fourth woman in its history, granting a lifetime term to a lawyer and academic with a reputation for brilliance, a dry sense of humor and a liberal bent.
The vote was 63-37 for President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed
retired Justice John Paul Stevens.
Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat and the Senate’s two independents to support Kagan.
Kagan watched the vote with her Justice Department colleagues in the solicitor general’s conference room, the White House said.
Obama, traveling in Chicago, said her confirmation was an affirmation of her character and judicial temperament, and called the addition of another woman to the court a sign of progress for the country.
Kagan is the first Supreme Court nominee in nearly 40 years with no experience as a judge, and her swearing-in will mark the first time in history that three women will serve on the nine-member court together.
Her lack of judicial experience was the stated reason for one fence-sitting Republican, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, to announce his opposition to Kagan’s confirmation Thursday, just hours before the vote.
“The best umpires, to use the popular analogy, must not only call balls and strikes, but also have spent enough time on the playing field to know the strike zone,” Brown said.
In my skeptical opinion, Scott Brown cast a political vote wholly without merit in order to preserve his future political viability as a Republican presidential candidate.