Elena Kagan has been confirmed by the Senate to become the newest Associate U.S. Supreme Court justice by a vote of 63-37. For the first time in history, three women will serve as Supreme Court justices at the same time.
As Senate confirmation battles go, this one was fairly low-key. Republicans spent a lot of time claiming she was anti-gun and pro-abortion, but with very little evidence to support their claims. The best they could do was to offer an argument about her lack of judicial experience -- an argument some Democrats also used against her.
The sole dissenting Democrat was Ben Nelson, who may call himself a Democrat, but never fails to bolster the Republican vote count. At the last minute, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) announced his opposition to Kagan's nomination, resting on the "lack of experience" excuse, but really just buying some political cover back home.
More from the AP on Kagan here.
People For the American Way released this statement:
“Americans should be proud that Elena Kagan was confirmed to the Supreme Court today. She brings to the bench sterling credentials and a formidable intellect. Her commitment to the Constitution and equal justice under law will serve the Court well in the decades ahead
“During her hearings, Elena Kagan spoke powerfully about the Constitution as a timeless document, constructed by its framers to be interpreted over time in light of new situations and in new contexts. She articulated a view of the Constitution and the role of judges in sharp contrast to Chief Justice Roberts’ misleading analogy to an umpire calling balls and strikes. Solicitor General Kagan made clear that she has the intellectual fortitude and the command of the law to keep faith with our Constitution--its amendments, its history, and its core values like justice and equality under the law.
“Thanks to today’s vote, the Supreme Court will have three female Justices for the first time in our nation’s history. This is an historic step forward for all Americans, and an advancement of which every citizen should be proud.”
Update: Kagan will be sworn in at 2pm on Saturday at the Supreme Court.