Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was the only member of the Judiciary Committee to vote against Verrilli and the sole senator to speak out against his confirmation from the Senate floor. Sessions said he would forgo the chance to filibuster but opposed the confirmation based on Verrilli's stated belief that terrorism suspects ought to be tried in civilian courts rather than military tribunals.
"You don’t give them a trial. They are not entitled to lawyers. They are not entitled to go before judges," Sessions said just minutes before the vote began. "They are prisoners of war and they are held in prisoner of war camps."
But Sessions added he believed Verrilli to be a "fine lawyer."
The solicitor general is appointed by the president to represent the federal government before the Supreme Court.
He replaces Kagan, who was nominated to the Supreme Court last May and confirmed by the Senate in August.