U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan faced tough criticism from Republicans at the opening of her Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, but President Barack Obama’s pick is expected to win approval for the lifetime job.

Kagan, a member of the past two Democratic administrations who has been accused by Republicans of being driven by politics, said she is dedicated to equal justice under the law.

If confirmed, Kagan said, “I will work hard and I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law,” in remarks prepared for delivery at the opening of her hearing before the Senate Judiciary.


Republican critics have sought to portray Kagan as someone who places her opinions above the law.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the panel’s top Republican, ripped into Kagan for seeking to become the first new member of the Supreme Court in nearly 40 years who has never been a judge.

“Ms. Kagan has less real legal experience of any nominee in at least 50 years. It's not just that she has never been a judge," Sessions said. “She has barely practiced law.”

Kagan, 50, will also face hostile questions from Republicans about why she temporarily restricted access to her campus by military recruiters as dean at Harvard law school in 2003. She opposed the military’s ban against gays serving openly in its ranks.

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