Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wins second GOP vote: Richard Lugar

Sen. Richard Lugar becomes the second Republican to say he will support Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his support Tuesday.

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    Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington June 30. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has won the support of a second Republican senator in advance of her expected confirmation to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana said on Wednesday that he would vote to confirm Ms. Kagan. The announcement came one day after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 to endorse her nomination and send it to the full Senate for a vote before the August recess.

Only one of the Judiciary Committee’s seven Republicans voted for Kagan – Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

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Senator Lugar said he had carefully followed Kagan’s testimony, her answers to written questions, and the debate surrounding her nomination. He said he had also reviewed recommendations from his Indiana constituents.

“I have concluded that Solicitor General Kagan is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and that she has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of court history and decisions,” Lugar said in a statement. He noted she’d had a “distinguished career in both education and public service and is well regarded by the legal community and her peers.”

The Indiana Republican was one of seven GOP senators who voted last year to confirm Kagan as the nation’s first woman solicitor general.

Lugar was also one of seven Republicans to vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the high court last summer to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice David Souter.

In addition to Lugar, three other Republicans voted to confirm both Kagan as solicitor general and Sotomayor as a justice. They are Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg.

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