Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was the only Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to support the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor a year ago. Today, he continued to drop hints that he might be willing to vote for Elena Kagan, too.
Graham told Kagan at her confirmation hearing that “there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re a liberal person.” But, he added, “That applies to most of the people on the other side. I respect them and I respect you.”
He said that “elections have consequences” — a phrase that Republicans used often during George W. Bush’s administration to emphasize the president’s power to nominate.
“What did I expect from President Obama? Just about what I’m getting,” Graham said. “A lot of people are surprised. Well, you shouldn’t have been, if you were listening.”
Graham, a key senator on the legal issues surrounding the detention of suspected terrorists, said he planned to question Kagan on that subject. He said Kagan is especially qualified to discuss it. “You, in my view, have a potential teaching opportunity, even though you’ve never been a judge, because you represented this country as solicitor general in a time of war,” Graham said.