“It is difficult to cast a negative vote on someone with the qualifications and background of Dean Kagan, but we have a major problem of institutional standing to find out from a nominee what the nominee thinks on important questions,” Specter said, referring to her title as dean of Harvard Law School.

“I have gone to some length to try to find out more about Dean Kagan. In the absence of being able to do so and to have a judgment on her qualifications, I am constrained to vote no,” he said.

Seven Republicans voted for Kagan, including Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnMr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism MORE (Okla.) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate panel to hold hearing next week for Trump IRS nominee On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (Utah).
Specter was also a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which declined to take up Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the late nineties. Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBill Clinton blasts family separation: 'Children should not be bargaining chips' In memory of Charles Krauthammer, an American genius and dear friend The case for a ‘Presidents’ Club’ to advise Trump MORE nominated her to the bench in 1999.  

Recent polls show Sestak has pulled ahead of Specter in the primary race.
 
A new Muhlenberg College poll gives Sestak a four-point lead, 46 percent to 42 percent. A new Rasmussen poll shows Sestak ahead of Specter, 47 percent to 42 percent.
 
Sestak has gained political traction by raising Specter’s ties to prominent Republicans such as former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
 
Sestak launched an ad earlier this month with footage of Bush praising Specter as “a firm ally” he could “count on.”