Republicans Delay Committee Vote on Kagan

Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:06am

Updated: 12:53 p.m.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Judiciary Committee vote on Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination despite strong objections from Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

The Judiciary panel will now take up the nomination on July 20 at 10 a.m.

Under the committee’s rules, any Member can force a one-week delay in a confirmation vote, and Republicans have routinely used it to slow the consideration of President Barack Obama’s nominations.

Leahy urged the GOP to forgo the delay, arguing that Republicans on the committee have already made up their minds and that there is no reason to wait. “A number of Senators have already announced their votes. Accordingly, I hope we will not be forced to needlessly delay her,” Leahy argued.

But ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) brushed aside those arguments and accused Kagan of lying to the committee during her hearings last month. Sessions ticked off a series of issues he believed Kagan mislead the committee on, including her role in a Clinton-era abortion battle and her views on “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Sessions also argued that Kagan’s testimony “lacked the clarity and strict intellectual honesty that we should look for.”