From NBC's Ken Strickland
Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter said Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was a good candidate for the court, but refused to endorse her without first going through her confirmation hearing. Kagan made the requisite courtesy call with the senator this morning.
"I thought it was a very good meeting and I think she was very forthcoming," he said shortly after the meeting. Later he made it clear his comment "doesn't constitute a commitment on the vote."
Specter was a Republican last year when he voted against Kagan for Solicitor General. He cites Kagan's refusal to answer some of his questions during those confirmation hearings.
The senator's vote against Kagan has become an issue in his Senate primary race against Rep. Joe Sestak. "Every move I make he's trying to politicize," Specter said of his opponent. "He might want to rush to judgment and make a decision before a hearing, before knowing what the facts were, but I take these things very seriously."
In Specter's meeting with Kagan, he said the nominee stood by earlier statements she'd made criticizing the confirmation process because nominees were not very forthcoming. "She stood by the word 'charade.' And she identified a specific justice who she thought was not appropriate in responses," he said.
Specter would not identify which justice Kagan called out, but said it was a current member of the court.
According the Specter, Kagan said the Supreme Court took on too few cases; she was "enthusiastic" about the possibility of televised court proceedings; and was "respective but noncommittal" to his legislation that would allow Congress to direct the court to take up certain cases.