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Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kagan vote expected Thursday

August 4, 2010

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— Democrats and Republicans presented dueling portraits Tuesday of Elena Kagan and the Supreme Court she’s seeking to join at the start of a politically charged debate over her fitness to be a justice, making what amounted to closing arguments before a near-certain confirmation vote by week’s end.

Democrats praised President Barack Obama’s nominee as a highly qualified legal scholar who would add a sorely needed note of fairness and common sense to a court they described as dominated by a conservative majority run amok.

Republicans countered that Kagan is an inexperienced, disingenuous nominee who would abuse her post by bending the law to suit a liberal agenda.

But even her harshest critics acknowledged there was no doubt about the debate’s outcome and the vote expected Thursday.

“I hope I’m wrong about soon-to-be Justice Kagan,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said.

In line to become the fourth woman ever to sit on the court, Kagan is not expected to alter its ideological balance in succeeding retired Justice John Paul Stevens — himself a leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing.

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