Reid: Republicans who backed Kagan for solicitor general should stick with her

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOPINION | 5 ways Democrats can win back power in the states THE MEMO: Trump's base cheers attacks on McConnell It's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him MORE has called on Republicans who supported Elena Kagan’s nomination for solicitor general to also back her bid for the Supreme Court.

Reid (D-Nev.) declared Kagan is a good replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, despite reservations of some liberals who worry about her lack of a judicial record and advocacy for a compromise on partial-birth abortion during the Clinton administration.

“She has a strong belief that the Supreme Court should be a forum where the rule of law wins out and where people from every walk of life can receive a fair hearing,” Reid said Wednesday in a statement after meeting with Kagan. 

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“Her impressive credentials and understanding of the real-world impact of the Court's rulings on Nevadans and all Americans will serve her well in this role.”

Reid called on Republicans to back Kagan: “After a fair review of her record and individual meetings, I believe that Elena Kagan should receive strong bipartisan support similar to that which she received just last year when she was confirmed as solicitor general.”

Seven Republicans voted to confirm Kagan as President Barack Obama’s solicitor general last year.

Kagan then met with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (Ky.) shortly after 11 a.m.

“I know this will be a challenging process to go through,” McConnell told Kagan at a brief photo opportunity with the press. “It always is for a lifetime appointment of this consequence. 

“But I want to assure her and assure the public that we intend to go through a thorough process,” McConnell said. “It is, however, not a rush to judgment, and we'll have an opportunity to examine the solicitor general's credentials and evaluate that, of course principally through the Judiciary Committee.”


Some Republicans question if Kagan’s close ties to the administration will influence her judgment on the High Court.

McConnell raised those concerns Wednesday morning during a floor speech before he met with Kagan.

“In our constitutional order, justices are not on anybody’s team,” McConnell said. “They have a very different role to play. As a Supreme Court justice, Ms. Kagan’s job description would change dramatically. Far from being a member of the president’s team, she’d suddenly be serving as a check on it.”

Kagan has been accompanied on her Senate rounds by Phil Schiliro, assistant to the president for legislative affairs, and White House counsel Robert Bauer.

Kagan is scheduled to meet with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) at noon and Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) SessionsFBI opens tip line requesting information on Charlottesville rally Sessions rails against Chicago during visit to Miami DOJ warrant of Trump resistance site triggers alarm MORE (Ala.), the ranking Republican on Judiciary, at 12:45 p.m.

She is scheduled to meet with Senate Democratic Whip Richard DurbinDick DurbinOPINION | DACA helps people achieve the American dream, don't take it away Immigration battlefield widens for Trump, GOP 'Dreamers' deadline looms for Trump MORE (D-Ill.) at 2:30 p.m. and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchHatch urged Trump to ‘speak clearly’ against hate groups The Memo: Trump tries to quiet race storm Senators push FTC to finalize changes to contact lens rule MORE (R-Utah) at 3:15 p.m. She will meet with Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) at 4:00 p.m. and possibly with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinTrump's Democratic tax dilemma Feinstein: Trump immigration policies 'cruel and arbitrary' The Memo: Could Trump’s hard line work on North Korea? MORE (D-Calif.) later in the day.