Ben Nelson (D., Neb) To Vote Against Kagan
Somewhat surprisingly, Democratic Senator Ben Nelson announced late yesterday that he would vote against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court:
Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) said Friday that he will vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, the first Democrat to declare his opposition to her.
Without specifying his objections, Nelson said that constituents in his conservative-leaning state do not support Kagan’s confirmation.
“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,” Nelson said in a statement.
“I have heard concerns from Nebraskans regarding Ms. Kagan, and Therefore, I will not vote to confirm Ms. Kagan’s nomination,” Nelson said.
This is only the latest sign that Nelson has given of his willingness to shift to the right over the past year. Time’s Joe Klein even speculates that Nelson may be up for grabs as a party-switcher if the GOP makes substantial gains in the Senate in November.
In the meantime, New Hampshire’s Judd Gregg announced last night that he would vote yes on Kagan, making him the fifth Republican “yes” vote. Given this, Nelson’s announcement is essentially meaningless and Kagan is still a shoe-in for confirmation.