May 10th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

Early reactions to Elena Kagan nomination

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/10/art.kagan.profile.jpg width=292 height=320]Jay Newton-Small

Clearly, President Obama's choice of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court came as no surprise to many. Reactions flooded my inbox before Obama was even done speaking.

Here are some excerpts – in order that I received them – of statements reacting to Kagan's nomination. Some interesting highlights: Mitch McConnell notes her "brief litigation experience," John Podesta says she'll be "a much-needed progressive voice on a Court dominated by conservatives," and Orrin Hatch says his vote for her to be Solicitor General by no means guarantees his support for her nomination to the bench.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a GOP member of the Judiciary Committee:
"Solicitor General Kagan has a strong academic background in the law. I have been generally pleased with her job performance as Solicitor General, particularly regarding legal issues related to the War on Terror. I look forward to meeting her again, this time to discuss her qualifications to sit on the highest court in the land.
"As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I intend to be fair and firm in my questioning of the nominee. The hearings can be a valuable public service as they give us a window into the nominee's judicial philosophy and disposition. I hope we will have a meaningful opportunity to explore the qualifications, judicial temperament, and judicial philosophy of Ms. Kagan."

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee:

“I congratulate Elena Kagan on her nomination to the United States Supreme Court. I welcome President Obama's decision to nominate someone to be the first Supreme Court justice from outside the judiciary since former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Lewis Powell. Ms. Kagan's confirmation in 2009 as the first woman to become Solicitor General was an historic moment for our nation. As Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan has served the nation ably. Considering the impact the Supreme Court has on our country, I take very seriously my responsibility as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to evaluate a nominee. I look forward to reviewing thoroughly Ms. Kagan's record, meeting with her and questioning her during what I hope will be a productive and informative confirmation process.”

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