The first day of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings has concluded, as expected, without any fireworks. "I will listen hard, to every party before the court and to each of my colleagues. I will work hard," the Supreme Court nominee and current solicitor general said. " And I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law."
Partisan sniping was relatively low-key today, but that's unlikely to remain the case as the hearings turn substantive. President Obama's approval ratings are lower than they were during Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings last summer, notes USA Today, and in the words of Dick Durbin, "we're closer to an election." Kagan spoke last, after 3 hours of orating by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and two guests: John Kerry and Scott Brown introduced Kagan, whose home state is officially Massachusetts.