- Title: USA: Senate approves Obama nominee Kagan to top court
- Date: 6th August 2010
- Summary: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) SUPREME COURT NOMINEE ELENA KAGAN TAKING OATH BEFORE HER CONFIRMATION HEARING 7 .WIDESHOT SENATE CHAMBER KAGAN GREETING ATTENDEES AFTER HEARING
- Embargoed: 21st August 2010 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Legal System,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA957B6N203VC67RWY8HOO2OMNA
- Story Text: U.S. President Barack Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court won Senate approval on Thursday (August 5), his second appointment to the highest U.S. court that decides abortion, death penalty and other contentious cases.
The Democratic-led Senate voted largely along political party lines, 63-37, to confirm the former Harvard Law school dean as the fourth female justice in U.S. history.
All the Democratic senators but one voted for her, two independent senators voted for her, and five Republicans voted for her. All the other Republican senators opposed her nomination.
The three days of Senate debate often reflected partisan differences ahead of the congressional elections in November when one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives will be up for reelection.
Democratic senators praised Kagan for her legal intellect, her ability to build consensus, for bringing a fresh perspective to the court and for being fair-minded.
"Her graceful performance before the Judiciary Committee and extensive list of enthusiastic recommendation from Democrats, Republicans and others, across the entire spectrum during the nomination process, I think, revealed her to be a person of utmost integrity, professionalism and sound judgment," said Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat and a supporter of Kagan.
Republican senators said Kagan, a White House lawyer during Bill Clinton's presidency, seemed driven more by politics than the law and lacked judicial experience.
"American people will not easily forgive this Senate, if we confirm Ms. Kagan to the Supreme Court," said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican and an opponent of Kagan.
"A review of Ms. Kagan's experience reveals a woman who has spent much of her adult life not steeped in the practice of law, but in the art of politics," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.
Kagan becomes Obama's second lifetime appointee on the nine-member Supreme Court, allowing him to reshape the court and leave behind a judicial legacy that could last for decades, long after he leaves office.
Kagan was Obama's solicitor general, arguing government cases before the Supreme Court, when he named her in May as his choice to replace the retiring liberal Justice John Paul Stevens.
The 50-year-old Kagan, who will be the third woman on the current court, is not expected to change the ideological balance of power on the closely divided panel, which for years has been dominated by a 5-4 conservative majority.
Kagan will be sworn in on Saturday. The court is in recess until October, when it will return to the bench for a new term to hear disputes on immigration, violent videos and other cases.
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