Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday painted Elena Kagan as a friend of the middle class who is "incredibly qualified" to sit on the Supreme Court.

Making the rounds on the morning news shows, Biden launched a defense of the solicitor general and court nominee, fending off claims from opponents that she is an out-of-touch elitist who has little real-world experience.


"She is Main Street," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America" program. "Both of her parents were sons and daughters of immigrants. She's deeply rooted in what you might call the 'old neighborhood.' This is a woman who's lived in the real world."

Republicans have said they will take a tough but fair line of questioning with Kagan. Some have claimed that she has too short a paper trail that does not reveal her legal views because she has not spent much time as a litigator or judge.

Kagan previously served as dean of Harvard Law School and worked as an official in the Clinton administration, before taking the solicitor general post last year.

"We've got to know that she has the good personal discipline good lawyers have so that day after day, week after week, it won't be her politics or ideology, but the law and her fidlity to it that will decide how she handles her cases," Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on CBS' "Early Show."

Biden said that won't be a problem.

"This woman is incredibly qualified," he said on CBS. "'Her career most parallels [former Chief Justice William] Rehnquist except she is solicitor general and was dean of a law school."

He said he believes it's a good thing she has not served as a judge, echoing Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy's (D-Vt.) claim that a nominee should come from outside the "judicial monastery."

"Thank God there have been people other than just circuit court of appeals justices," he said. She is unquestionably academically qualified."

The vice president said he is "confident" that her confirmation process will be over by the time the summer ends and will be seated on the court no later than the fall, as long as "our Republican friends proceed as I expect they will."

"I think there will be a lot of noise, but this is a mainstream incredibly qualified woman to be the third woman to sit on the Supreme Court," Biden said. "I think she'll pass with strong bipartisan support."

Sessions, however, wasn't so sure.

"I'm not going to predict that, I think it will depend how well she does," he said.