McConnell, Murkowski to vote against Kagan

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Friday he will oppose Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

McConnell is the fourth Republican to announce his opposition and his announcement is hardly suprising, given that he's the Republican leader.

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Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the GOP Conference Committee vice chairwoman, and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also announced their opposition Friday. They join Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who announced his intention shortly after President Barack Obama nominated her in May.

McConnell cited Kagan's "political advocacy" as a factor in his decision.

“I do not have confidence that if she were confirmed to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court she would suddenly constrain the ardent political advocacy that has marked much of her adult life.  The American people expect a justice who will impartially apply the law, not one who will be a rubberstamp for the Obama administration or any other administration. For these reasons, I will oppose Ms. Kagan’s confirmation," McConnell said in a statement.

In announcing her opposition, Murkowski cited Kagan’s cautious approach to questions during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week and said she did not “live up to” a standard she set for herself in a 2005 article in which she urged the Senate to probe the legal views of a nominee in order to meet the Senate’s constitutional responsibility of advice and consent.

Murkowski also took issue with Kagan’s New York heritage, considering that six of the nine Supreme Court Justices are from the Northeast.

“While I welcome the fact that this administration has substantially increased the representation of women on the high court, it is of greater significance to me that the administration has not increased representation of people from the West or from rural backgrounds on the court,” Murkowski said in a statement.

McConnell, Murkowski, and Hatch voted against Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination last year. Hatch voted for Kagan as solicitor general but McConnell and Murkowski did not.

-- Emily Goodin contributed to this article.

-- This article was updated at 4:15 p.m.