From left, Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), during Wednesday's session. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

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High Stakes, But No High Drama At Kagan Hearings

ANALYSIS: Other news has overshadowed the confirmation hearings, and a Democratic majority in the Senate has made the outcome seem almost predetermined.

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Thurgood Marshall with George E.C. Hayes (left) and James M. Nabrit (right) outside the Supreme Court building on May 17, 1954. The three lawyers had just led the fight for abolition of segregation in public schools before the Supreme Court, which ruled that segregation was unconstitutional. AP hide caption

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Elena Kagan graduated from Hunter College High School, a publicly funded school for gifted students on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in 1977. Here, she raises her arm during a class trip to Philadelphia in a photo from the yearbook. Hunter College High School/AP hide caption

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Elena Kagan enjoys a lighter moment during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan shakes hands with GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions (right) as Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy looks on before the start of Monday's confirmation hearing. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan faces questions this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which opens hearings on her nomination. Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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