Specter to Vote Yes on Kagan

First Specter switched parties; now flip-flops on critical Supreme Court nomination

WASHINGTON — Sen. Arlen Specter says he will support the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court despite what he calls her “non-answers” to senators’ questions during confirmation hearings.

In an op-ed piece published Thursday in USA Today, the Pennsylvania Democrat and past critic of Kagan said she “did just enough to win my vote.”

Specter, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited Kagan’s openness to televised Supreme Court proceedings and her pick of Justice Thurgood Marshall as her role model.

Specter voted last year against confirming Kagan to her current post as solicitor general. He was then a Republican, and has said he opposed her because she wouldn’t answer questions about how she’d approach cases.

Specter, who switched parties last year, acknowledged in his op-ed that Kagan was following other high court nominees in giving evasive responses. “But her non-answers were all the more frustrating, given her past writings that the hearings were vacuous and lacked substance,” he wrote, referring to a 1995 book review by Kagan that criticized Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

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