Graham on potential court pick Kagan: 'I like her'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has kind words for Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a leading candidate to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

“I like her,” he said, quickly adding, “and that might hurt her chances.”

Graham, whose support for Justice Sonia Sotomayor last summer was a turning point in her confirmation process, said he liked Kagan’s answers about national security and the president’s broad authority to detain enemy combatants when she was going through her own Senate confirmation.

He said Obama is president and should have the right to choose Supreme Court justices as long as the person is well qualified and not too extreme. He also noted that he didn’t think Obama would want to challenge Republicans to a pitched Supreme Court battle after spending so much political capital on passing healthcare reform.

“After healthcare, I don’t see why Democrats would want to spending their summer defending a wide-eyed liberal,” he said.