Kagan wins Judiciary confirmation in mostly partisan vote, 13 to 6

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to confirm Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court on a mainly partisan vote of 13 to 6.

All the Democrats on the committee voted in favor of Kagan, while all but one Republican, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham: 'Lucifer may be the only person Trump can beat in a general election' Sunday shows preview: Cruz pulls out all the stops ahead of Indiana Many Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report MORE (R-S.C.), voted against her. Graham, who was one of just nine Republicans who voted in favor of Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation last year, joined Democrats in voting in favor of Kagan.

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“No one spent more time trying to beat President Obama perhaps other than Senator McCain,” Graham said. “I understood that we lost, Sen. Obama won, and … the Constitution requires me as a senator not to replace my judgment for his … or pick a fight with Ms. Kagan.”

Graham also praised Kagan’s performance during the hearing and predicted she would serve “honorably” even though he disagrees with her “liberal” views and would not have chosen her himself.

The full Senate is expected to approve Kagan’s nomination with just a handful of centrist GOP votes, most likely later this month.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate pressured to take up email privacy bill after overwhelming House vote House unanimously passes email privacy bill This week: Congress on track to miss Puerto Rico deadline MORE (D-Vt.) praised Kagan’s experience and performance during the confirmation hearings.

“She is a highly experienced person … she has been the dean of the most prestigious law school in this country and has been Solicitor General, and I note that she has the highest possible rating in the American Bar Association committee on the federal judiciary,” Leahy said.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags Many Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report GOP warms to Trump MORE (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the panel, cited her lack of judicial experience and record on limiting military recruiters’ access to Harvard Law School while dean, as well as her tenure as a legal adviser at the Clinton White House.

“Her lack of robust legal experience … compared to other Supreme Court nominees who spent years trying cases, taking depositions — the kind of day-in and day-out experience that forces critical thought … Kagan does not have that kind of experience. She just does not. Most of her
experience is political experience.”

Senate Judiciary Republicans who backed Kagan for solicitor general in 2009 but voted against her on Tuesday include Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnGOP faces existential threat Sanders tops 2016 field in newly deleted tweets The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchSupreme Court wrestles with corruption law IRS: Annual unpaid tax liability was 8B Hatch asks Treasury for memo that decreases transparency of tax rules MORE (Utah) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.).