Seven Republicans voted for Kagan in 2009

Seven Republican senators voted to confirm Elena Kagan as solicitor general just over a year ago, complicating the GOP’s effort to oppose her nomination to the Supreme Court.

The Senate confirmed Kagan on a solid 61-31 vote on March 19 of last year, with GOP Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnRepublicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare Former GOP senator: Trump has a personality disorder MORE (Okla.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals MORE (Maine), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKoch groups: Don't renew expired tax breaks in government funding bill Hatch tweets link to 'invisible' glasses after getting spotted removing pair that wasn't there DHS giving ‘active defense’ cyber tools to private sector, secretary says MORE (Utah), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Richard Lugar (Ind.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) casting votes in her favor.

This will complicate Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) effort to coordinate GOP opposition to the nominee.

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President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman MORE is expected to make the pick official on Monday morning.

So far, Republican senators have held their fire. They are unlikely to criticize the nominee immediately so as not to undercut their appearance of dispassionate judgment.

McConnell said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" last month that it would be “highly unlikely” for Republicans to filibuster Obama’s Supreme Court pick.

He said he could not envision a filibuster unless the nominee had “really bizarre views.”

The Republican leader has noted on several occasions that he has never filibustered a Supreme Court nominee.

Conservative scholars have wasted no time blasting Kagan as a liberal ideologue who is significantly to the left of Obama’s last pick, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“I’m deeply disappointed that President Obama has chosen to nominate an individual who has demonstrated a lack of adherence to the limits of the Constitution and a desire to utilize the court system to enact her beliefs of social engineering,” said David McIntosh, a former Republican congressman from Indiana and co-founder of the Federalist Society.

McIntosh said that Kagan was a “vocal opponent” of military recruiters on campus when she served as dean of Harvard Law School.

Conservatives have also accused Kagan of undermining the Defense of Marriage Act during her tenure as solicitor general.

Additionally, they have focused on her lack of experience as a judge.

“Among Supreme Court nominees over the last 50 years or more, Kagan may well be the nominee with the least amount of relevant experience,” said Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia.

“She's been extremely guarded about her views, with the exception of gay rights, where she has been vehement in opposing federal laws she doesn't like and has worked as solicitor general to undermine those laws,” he said.

Conservatives say Kagan’s confirmation to the court will have sweeping consequences.

“With the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan, the president has taken a significant step toward reshaping the court and its work for decades,” said Rick Garnett, a professor and associate dean at Notre Dame Law School. “No one should think that this nomination is inconsequential, or that it changes little because it involves merely replacing one liberal justice with another.”

Sotomayor sailed through the Senate with little opposition, but political experts predict the next Supreme Court confirmation debate will become much more heated.

Aside from Kagan’s past statements and record, the looming election has turned up partisan tensions in the upper chamber.

Political experts predict Republicans will wage a staunch effort against Obama’s nominee to rally the GOP base.

“I think the Supreme Court pick will be enormously controversial, whomever Obama picks,” said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University.

Republicans blocked Kagan’s nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the late 1990s, when former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump’s first year in office was the year of the woman Can a president be impeached for non-criminal conduct? Dems search for winning playbook MORE nominated her to the bench.

Chief Justice John Roberts was later nominated and confirmed to the vacant seat on the D.C. Circuit.