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Graham Supports Kagan for Supreme Court

Lindsay Graham announced his support for Elena Kagan to become the nation’s 4th female Supreme Court Justice today, in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination. Kagan will clear the Judiciary Committee later today.

In his remarks announcing his support, Graham said that “There’s plenty of reasons for a conservative to vote no, but there are plenty of reasons for a conservative to vote yes,” and while he didn’t agree with Kagan’s judicial philosophy, he felt duty-bound to support the nomination because of Presidential prerogative. He said that while he would have made a different choice for the Court, he will honor the 2008 election by supporting a qualified nominee.

That’s a curious statement for Graham to make, since he has participated in virtually every filibuster of Obama nominees for executive branch positions, or has at least not spoken out about obstruction of those positions. He voted to filibuster David Hamilton, Obama’s first judicial nominee for the 7th Circuit. He voted to filibuster Kathleen Sebelius. He has no compunction against using the filibuster on Obama nominees. But this pose makes him look wise and responsible to his Beltway admirers. They’ll remember him saying that “the last election had consequences” but not that he tried to nullify those consequences over and over again.

Kagan’s nomination will pass out of the Judiciary Committee today. Democratic leaders, and the White House, would like to see the nomination confirmed before the August recess.

UPDATE: The nomination passed, 13-6.

UPDATE II: After the vote, both Harry Reid and Barack Obama looked forward to a full Senate vote “before the August recess.” That would be within the next 2 1/2 weeks.

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David Dayen

David Dayen