Senate Installs Kagan as Solicitor General

Posted March 19, 2009 at 5:08pm

On a partisan 61-31 vote, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Elena Kagan as solicitor general, making her the first woman to serve in that office.

The vote came after three hours of debate, in which Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) criticized Kagan’s confirmation hearing performance. He said that in the course of her vetting, she did not yield insight into her “approach to the law.—

“I think we have to pay a little more attention, and I’ve gone to some length to try to find out more about— Kagan, Specter said. “But in the absence of being able to do so and really have a judgment on her qualifications, I’m constrained to vote no.—

The Judiciary Committee voted 13-3 on Kagan’s nomination earlier this month. Specter voted “pass— on that vote.

Kagan comes to the Justice Department from Harvard Law School, where she is the dean. She was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, but was not confirmed due to Republican opposition.