Kagan Confirmation Expected as Senate Heads for Vote

The U.S. Senate will be voting Thursday on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan before heading into its monthlong summer recess.

The Senate had officially commenced debates on Tuesday and is expected to take a vote either Thursday afternoon or Thursday evening after further debate.

With five GOP senators already having expressed support for Kagan's nomination, confirmation of the 50-year-old solicitor general seems all but certain. Only one Democrat, conservative Ben Nelson (Neb.), has announced his intention to oppose the former Harvard Law dean.

If confirmed, Kagan would be the fourth woman ever to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Kagan would succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who is regarded as a leader of the court's liberal wing.

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