Leahy, D-Vt., noted the hearing will commence 49 days after President Barack Obama announced he would submit the U.S. solicitor general's name for the high court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens.
"This is a reasonable schedule that is in line with past practice," Leahy said in a statement posted on his Web site. "Last year, we proceeded with the hearing on the nomination of Justice (Sonia) Sotomayor 48 days after she was designated. Senate Republicans said that hearing was fair, and was conducted fairly."
Leahy added he saw "no reason to unduly delay consideration of this nomination," which would go to the full Senate if the committee approves Kagan. The goal is to conclude the confirmation process in time for the fall court term.
He said he consulted with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the committee, on the bipartisan questionnaire sent to Kagan last week and Tuesday they jointly sent a letter to the Clinton Library asking for files from her work in the White House during former President Bill Clinton's administration.
"I will continue to consult with Senator Sessions to ensure that we hold a fair hearing," Leahy said.