Three GOP senators say they'll vote against Kagan

WASHINGTON Kagan, 50, has been chosen by President Barack Obama as the replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday wrapped up her four-day confirmation hearing, and has scheduled a vote on her nomination on July 13.

The committee cannot stop a Supreme Court nomination from getting a vote on the Senate floor. It will only be voting on whether she will get a favorable or unfavorable recommendation. The committee could also choose not to make a recommendation.

One member of the committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced Friday that he would be voting against Kagan, despite his approval of her as solicitor general last year.

Hatch said a Supreme Court nominee needs "both legal experience and, more importantly, the appropriate judicial philosophy."

"General Kagan regrettably does not meet this standard," Hatch said.

Hatch's announcement was soon followed by similar statements from McConnell and GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

McConnell has been one of the lead opponents against the major campaign finance law over the last decade. Kagan, as solicitor general, unsuccessfully argued for part of that law front of the Supreme Court earlier this year.

"She refused to repudiate her alarming position in the Supreme Court that the federal government can ban core political speech if it dislikes the speaker, including speech with a long and venerable history in our country, like political pamphlets," said McConnell, R-Ky. "I do not have confidence that if she were confirmed to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court she would suddenly constrain the ardent political advocacy that has marked much of her adult life."

Murkowski said Kagan also did not give Americans any idea how she will approach "difficult cases" as a justice at her confirmation hearing.

GOP Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma also has said he will oppose Kagan's confirmation, although she is expected to be approved by the full Senate.

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