Orrin Hatch first to signal Elena Kagan has votes for confirmation to the Supreme Court
There’s always a moment in Supreme Court confirming hearings where some minority senator on the Judiciary Committee reveals that there isn’t much of a prospect that they will stop an administration’s nominee. Sure, Senator Jeff Sessions is all ‘the fire next time‘ and hopes to destroy any judge nominated by a Democrat, including Elena Kagan. But he’s not the part standing for the whole in this case – he’s just doing his hyperpartisan duty. More often, you get weird statements like Senator Lindsey Graham last summer telling Sonia Sotomayor, “unless you have a complete meltdown, you’re going to get confirmed. And I don’t think you will.”
But even though the moment inevitably arrives, it occurred rather quickly this time around, during the statement of Senator Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who is the second highest ranking Republican on the committee.
Before Hatch even launched into his statement, he declared, “Something tells me this is likely to be your last confirmation hearing.”
So, that’s that. Not an outright statement that there isn’t much to the theater of this hearing, but a hint that Solicitor General Kagan will soon be Associate Justice Kagan.