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Leahy Predicts Summertime Confirmation Vote

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday predicted a smooth confirmation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, saying the Senate would vote on her nomination sometime this summer.

Leahy, speaking to reporters after President Barack Obama made his nomination official, said he will meet with Kagan “later this week,” and that hearings will follow a similar timeline to that of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor was nominated to the high court on May 26 last year, sat for her first confirmation hearing July 13, and was confirmed on Aug. 6. Democratic aides predict that Kagan could be confirmed by the July Fourth recess.

“Obviously, we will finish it this summer so she can be sitting on the court when they go back into session in September or October,” Leahy said.

Responding to Kagan’s critics, Leahy also quipped that “the president could nominate Moses the lawgiver,” and Republicans would still object.

“I told the president if he nominated Moses the lawgiver, someone would raise [their hand and say], ‘But he doesn’t have a birth certificate. Where’s his birth certificate?'” Leahy said.

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