Sen Jeff Sessions of Alabama, top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, reiterated Thursday that a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is still possible. "I wouldn't take it off the table," Sessions told reporters in a conference call.
"I don't know what will come out of the hearings," the senator added, as he ticked through what he called Kagan's "liberal" record of service in political roles for Democratic politicians.
Sessions said he has reluctantly accepted the 2005 "extraordinary circumstances" standard set by the bipartisan Gang of 14, which narrowly averted a judicial crisis in the Senate. By that measure, only the most explosive of findings warrant a filibuster of any judicial nominee.
As for what will win his support for Kagan, Sessions said, "For me, the judgment will be: do I have confidence this nominee...will know they have a responsibility to try to find out what the law is and follow it?"
Solicitor General Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings are set to begin Monday at 12:30pm and consume the balance of the week.
It is likely she will easily clear the committee, given the twelve to seven tilt to Democrats.
The Senate is expected to take up the nomination the week after the July Fourth recess.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, predicted Wednesday, "She will be confirmed."