Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' 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.
“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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE (Ala.), the ranking Republican on Judiciary, at 12:45 p.m.
She is scheduled to meet with Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian Biden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October MORE (D-Ill.) at 2:30 p.m. and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchCongress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30 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 Emiel FeinsteinRepublicans caught in California's recall trap F-35 fighter jets may fall behind adversaries, House committee warns Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Calif.) later in the day.