Specter to Vote ‘Yes’ on Kagan

Posted July 15, 2010 at 2:46pm

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) Thursday announced that he would support Elena Kagan’s installment on the Supreme Court, even though he accused her of dodging many of his questions during her confirmation hearings.

“Ms. Kagan has said just enough to get my vote,” Specter, a Judiciary Committee member, said during a floor speech Thursday.

Earlier in the day, USA Today ran an opinion piece by Specter in which he said he would vote in favor of her nomination. In the editorial, Specter criticized Kagan for not answering questions on issues including campaign finance reform and the government’s wiretapping authority.

But in the end, Specter, who formerly chaired the Judiciary panel, said, “In addition to her intellect, academic and professional qualifications, Kagan did just enough to win my vote by her answers that television would be good for the country and the court and by identifying [former] Justice [Thurgood] Marshall as her role model.”

Some had questioned whether Specter — who switched parties in April 2009 — would end up supporting Kagan’s nomination: The then-Republican Senator voted against her installment as solicitor general in March 2009. Specter also was aggressive in his questioning of Kagan during her Judiciary hearings earlier this month.

The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Kagan’s nomination Tuesday, and the full Senate is expected to confirm her to the high court before the August recess.