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Kagan: The charmer

The Washington Post observes, By the end of 17 hours of senatorial grilling, lecturing and badgering, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan had revealed at least one passion: She loves this stuff. Put the woman in front of some stern interrogators who make her explain a dozen times why Harvard Law School doesn't require constitutional law in the very first year, and she comes alive."

More: "Over two days at the microphone, Kagan gave the impression that there was no place she would rather be than seeking to address all questions of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She assured even the openly hostile Republican members that she knows they are men of 'good faith.' And when the Democrats grumbled about the court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., she enthusiastically responded that he, too, certainly is a man of 'good faith.'"

"Elena Kagan declined to discuss her passions, demurred when asked anything that might tip her hand on the Supreme Court and invoked her right to remain inscrutable even on cases buried in the past," the AP writes, adding, "Her dodges over two days of questioning prompted chuckles in the Senate Judiciary Committee as members, keenly aware of what she wrote in 1995, watched her rhetorical dances. But the evasive maneuvers created frustration, too."

Per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, aides to the Senate Judiciary Committee do not expect a vote on Kagan's nomination until after the July 4th recess. Today, the committee will hear from outside witnesses late in the day after the memorial events for Robert Byrd. Although Kagan's public testimony is complete, she has been asked to submit some additional information in writing which is typical. The committee will review that before taking its vote in executive session.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times' editorial page supports Kagan's confirmation. "Elena Kagan delivered an impressive performance at her Senate confirmation hearing. Assuming the commitments she made were authentic and not simply designed to tranquilize the members of the Judiciary Committee, she could act as an important brake on the current Supreme Court's alarming tendency to bulldoze through decades of settled precedents. She deserves confirmation as an associate justice."

"The National Rifle Association scored the Senate's confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a "key vote" after her hearings last summer, and people are anticipating whether the group will do it again with Kagan," The Hill reports.