That shouldn't shock anyone. Graham himself said it would be surprising if President Obama did not nominate someone who shared his general views of the world. As he pointed out, elections have consequences.
Kagan also told Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.) that she favors allowing TV cameras inside the Supreme Court, a development that is long-overdue. She said such transparency would not only benefit the public, but it would also be good for the court. Several previous nominees have not been willing to voice this reasonable position.
She espoused a philosophy of judicial modesty and humility, and professed the highest respect for precedent. Of course, nominee John Roberts Jr. said the same things in 2005. Since then, Chief Justice Roberts has disregarded precedent sometimes as he leads the court on its march rightward. As with Roberts, senators can only take Kagan at her word.
Disapproving Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, did little to undermine Kagan. Sessions harped about Kagan's move to limit military recruiting briefly at Harvard Law School while she was dean, but Kagan ably defended her actions.
She explained that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexual soldiers conflicted with the school's antidiscrimination policy. She didn't bar recruiters from the school, and it didn't affect the small number of students who enlisted during that period (three in most years, five during the year in question).
Republican senators also failed in their bizarre guilt-by-association tactic to discredit Kagan by smearing the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom she served as a law clerk. Marshall was the court's first African American justice, and his service was admirable. The efforts of some GOP senators to glean from this association any covert Kagan plan to "protect the underdog" was just short of orchestrated paranoia.
Kagan was nominated to replace the retired liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. Her credentials and handling of the confirmation process show she is well qualified to serve on the court.