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Kagan: An expected confirmation, but with little GOP support

The AP's Benac: "Confident but still cautious. Smart and then some. Disarming. Knowing. Wicked funny. This week's Senate confirmation hearings were America's first and probably last chance for an in-depth conversation with Elena Kagan, who most likely will soon vanish into the cloistered corridors of the Supreme Court."

"Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan appears on her way to confirmation on the nation’s highest court, with Republicans showing little interest in a long-shot filibuster attempt after grueling testimony over abortion, gays in the military, and other divisive issues," AP writes. "The powerful National Rifle Association attempted to spark interest in Kagan’s defeat yesterday by opposing her as someone who 'has repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility to the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed under the US Constitution.' But, barring an unexpected turn, Kagan will succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens and become the fourth female justice in the Supreme Court’s history."

But the Washington Post writes that she might get fewer GOP votes than Sonia Sotomayor received. “Last August, Sonia Sotomayor won 68 votes to be confirmed to the court, including those of nine Republicans, a level of support that appears unlikely for Kagan. Just seven Republicans voted for her confirmation as solicitor general in March 2009; Democrats and Republicans expect few, if any, senators who opposed that nomination to a lower post to support her lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court. Among the Republicans who voted 'aye' were three conservatives -- Sens. Tom Coburn (Okal.), Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) -- who often support executive branch nominees out of deference to presidential hiring. The three were some of Kagan's toughest interrogators this week.”