Mr. Nelson? Mr. Nelson, NO.
With the final vote on Elena Kagan's nomination quickly approaching, Senators on both sides of the aisle have begun to telegraph their intentions on how they will vote on her confirmation. Many of the them have been a given (everyone knew that Sen. Leahy would vote yes and Sen. Sessions would vote no) while others have been wild cards like Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) who came out on Friday in support of her nomination. While, it was expected to some extent that there would be Republicans voting to confirm, it was unknown if any Democrats would buck their party and oppose her nomination. Then, Sen. Ben Nelson voiced his opposition to Kagan, making the opposition to Kagan's elevation to the high court bipartisan and a signal that there is opposition to Kagan within the Democrat Party.
NELSON STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE ELENA KAGAN
July 30, 2010 – Today, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement on the president's nomination of Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the seat of retired Justice John Paul Stevens:
"As a member of the bipartisan 'Gang of 14,' I will follow our agreement that judicial nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances. If a cloture vote is held on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am prepared to vote for cloture and oppose a filibuster because, in my view, this nominee deserves an up or down vote in the Senate.
"However, I have heard concerns from Nebraskans regarding Ms. Kagan, and her lack of a judicial record makes it difficult for me to discount the concerns raised by Nebraskans, or to reach a level of comfort that these concerns are unfounded. Therefore, I will not vote to confirm Ms. Kagan's nomination."
What is most interesting in Nelson's statement is the fact that he is listening to his constituents for a change and not just voting the way he feels like. If only more Senators would actually listen to their constituents before voting. What a concept!