America

Sen. Scott Brown To Vote Against Elena Kagan

Scott Brown

 Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., is sticking with fellow Republicans to vote against Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP

If you thought that Sen. Scott Brown would vote to approve Elena Kagan's nomination to U.S. Supreme Court, think again.

Brown said Thursday he will vote against President Barack Obama's choice to fill the seat being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens.

It isn't a question about Kagan's brainpower, she's plenty smart, Brown says. Indeed, he calls her "brilliant."

But he's sticking to his party's line that she just doesn't have enough of the right stuff to be on the high court, that is experience as a judge or, lacking that, as a lawyer who's argued cases in court for many years.

Brown, from one of the nation's most liberal states, has broken party ranks to vote with Democrats. But not this time.

His statement:

“I approach the duty of voting on nominees to the United States Supreme Court with a deep sense of the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to provide its advice and consent. Elena Kagan’s nomination is my first opportunity to consider a nominee to the Supreme Court. First, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for Elena Kagan. She has an impressive resume, and in my private meeting with her I found her to be brilliant, as you might expect from a former dean of Harvard Law School. However, I cannot vote to confirm Elena Kagan. The reason is simple. I believe nominees to the Supreme Court should have previously served on the bench. Lacking that, I look for many years of practical courtroom experience to compensate for the absence of prior judicial experience. In Elena Kagan’s case, she is missing both. When it comes to the Supreme Court, experience matters. No classroom can substitute for the courtroom itself, where decisions are made that affect the day-to-day lives of American citizens, and where one’s judicial character and temperament is shaped in favor of the fair and just application of the law. The best umpires, to use the popular analogy, must not only call balls and strikes, but also have spent enough time on the playing field to know the strike zone. Therefore, I cannot support Elena Kagan’s nomination.”

The Washington Post has useful breakdown of the the senators and how they will or are likely to vote. Of course, with the Senate being so partisan, there's no mystery how most of the Ds and Rs will vote, is there?

But the WaPo tries to keep it interesting. For instance, they have Sen. John Kerry a "likely" yes vote. Kerry is likely more in the "definite" category.

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