US Senate approves Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Justice


Washington : The US Senate has voted to approve Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Justice, making her the fourth woman to enter the high court, Xinhua reported.

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The Senate voted 63 to 37 Thursday to confirm Kagan, the second Supreme Court nominee of President Barack Obama. She serves as Solicitor General for the administration and will replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in the court’s fall session.

Kagan will have to take oath of office before becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Her confirmation was seen as a done deal from the beginning, as the confirmation needs only a simple majority in the Democratic-led Senate.

The voting went down largely along party line. All but one Democratic senators voted for her, two independents and five Republicans voted for her, while all other Republicans voted no.

As Solicitor General, Kagan argued for the US government before the high court. She also worked as Dean of the prestigious Harvard Law School. Republicans have assailed her lack of experience as a judge, and questioned her impartiality.

Kagan, in her part, defended her impartiality as well as her modesty, saying “I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law”, during her confirmation hearing.

Before Kagan, Obama nominated US appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court, and she was confirmed last year with a 68-31 vote. She was the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

With Kagan nomination approved, the Supreme Court will have three female justices when justices return to the bench in October. The other two are Sotomayor and Ruth Ginsburg.