WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan to become an associate member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kagan, 50, was selected by U.S. President Barak Obama to replace John Paul Stevens, who joined the court in December 1975 and said in April he was leaving the court this summer. This week Stevens will pass Justice Stephen Field and become the second-longest serving court member.
The committee session Monday is likely to be consumed by opening remarks by the senators and a formal statement by Kagan. The question segment of the hearing isn't expected to begin until Tuesday.
Kagan is likely to win confirmation, since Democrats control the Senate and have expressed few, if any, concerns about her credentials. Republicans are expected to question Kagan's political objectivity -- she's currently Obama's solicitor general and previously served in the Clinton administration -- as well dwelling on the fact Kagan has never served as a judge.
She has been an academic, however, and, as such, has a paper trail that will be searched. Senators will be watching to see if she stands by the standard for which she previously argued that judicial nominees should be more forthcoming with answers to direct answers during the confirmation process.