Initial signs point to a tame, perhaps even smooth, Senate confirmation for Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, report McClatchy Newspapers. Only a few potential pitfalls have surfaced: Kagan's limited courtroom experience, her effort as dean of Harvard Law School to bar military recruiters from campus, and concerns among liberals that she may not be a reliable vote. None of those concerns appeared likely to derail her nomination in a Senate where Democrats control 59 of 100 seats. “If that's all they can come up with, she should be fine,” said Thomas Keck, a professor of constitutional law and politics at Syracuse University.
She was confirmed for her current job last year 61-31, with seven Republicans backing her. “Not much has changed since then, other than this is life tenure,” said Georgetown University law Prof. Susan Low Bloch. Kagan, 50, would be the first justice in nearly 40 years who didn't ascend directly from the bench. Her resume includes stints as clerk to former Justice Thurgood Marshall and to federal appellate Judge Abner Mikva, a key Obama mentor.