Washington: Her confirmation assured, Elena
Kagan is on the brink of becoming the fourth woman ever to
serve as a Supreme Court justice.
The Senate is set to confirm today President Barack
Obama's nominee, whose addition to the court will mark the
first time three female justices have served concurrently.
Nearly all Democrats, the Senate's two independents and a
handful of Republicans are backing her.
The vote is to be one of the Senate's last actions before
departing for a monthlong vacation.
Republicans have harshly criticised Kagan, 50, as a
political activist who would be unable to put aside her
liberal views and render impartial decisions.
Democrats defend the former Harvard Law School dean as a
highly qualified legal scholar who could help bring consensus
to the polarised court.
She's not expected to alter the ideological balance there
as she succeeds retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who is
regarded as a leader of the court's liberal wing.
Kagan's nomination to a lifetime seat on America's
highest court has garnered relatively little notice this
summer, with the public and elected officials preoccupied by
bad economic news and the Gulf oil spill, and many lawmakers
nervously eyeing the November midterm congressional elections.
First Published: Thursday, August 05, 2010, 16:14