POLITICS

Richard Lugar Becomes Second Republican To Endorse Elena Kagan

07/21/2010 04:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Though her nomination to the Supreme Court now seems fairly secure, Elena Kagan and -- by extension -- the White House scored another victory on Wednesday when a second Senate Republican announced his support.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a key administration ally (though traditionally on foreign policy issues) issued the following statement in support of Kagan's confirmation.

I have carefully followed the testimony of Solicitor General Elena Kagan before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the questions of committee members, and the debate and comments about her nomination, both during the public hearings and the mark-up of her nomination in committee. I have also carefully reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents on her nomination. I have concluded that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and that she has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of court history and decisions. I believe that she has had a distinguished career in both education and public service and is well regarded by the legal community and her peers. I will vote to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Lugar's remarks come one day after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) an actual Judiciary Committee member, endorsed Kagan in addition to casting a vote to move her nomination to the Senate floor. Graham's support ensured that Kagan will find her way to the bench (provided there is a united Democratic caucus behind her confirmation). Lugar's endorsement helps complete the administration narrative that this is a choice with bipartisan support.

Lugar is one of only nine Republicans who broke party ranks last year and voted for President Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: Sonia Sotomayor.

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