Lugar becomes second Republican to back Kagan

A second Republican senator said Wednesday that he’ll vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. 

Lugar, a veteran senator from Indiana, said he would support President Obama’s pick to join the high court, joining Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“I have concluded that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and that she has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of court history and decisions,” Lugar said in a statement. “I believe that she has had a distinguished career in both education and public service and is well regarded by the legal community and her peers.”

“I will vote to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Lugar added.

Lugar supported the president’s other pick to join the court, now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor, for confirmation last summer. The support gives Democrats some breathing room over Kagan, allowing them to lose at least one Democrat from their 59-vote majority. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he plans a floor vote on Kagan’s confirmation before lawmakers break for the August recess.