Senator Richard Lugar, breaking with the GOP on an election-year Supreme Court nomination, yesterday became the second in his party to say he would vote to confirm Elena Kagan as a justice.
The Indiana Republican’s announcement could lead to a trickle of support among the Senate’s band of GOP moderates. Kagan is already on track to be confirmed early next month, with Democrats having more than enough votes to push through her nomination. Republican foes have shown little inclination — despite pressure from conservative groups — to block the move through a filibuster on President Obama’s choice to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired.
In a statement, Lugar said he had carefully followed Kagan’s confirmation hearing testimony and the debate about her nomination, including recommendations from his constituents, and said she is up to the job.
“I have concluded that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and that she has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of court history and decisions,’’ Lugar said.
He also said Kagan has had a “distinguished career’’ in education and public service and is well regarded by the legal community and her peers.
Most Republicans argue that Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School and current US solicitor general, would seek to impose a liberal political agenda on the Supreme Court, moving to expand abortion rights, sanction gay marriage, and curb gun rights, among other things.
On Tuesday, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina became the first Republican senator to say he would join Democrats in backing Kagan.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Lugar is 2d Republican in Senate to back Kagan
Lugar is 2d Republican in Senate to back Kagan; The Boston Globe