Though Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Supreme Court hasn't really been in question, the support of five Republicans means that there's no jeopardy in next week's vote.
Retiring Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. announced Friday that he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, making him the fifth Republican to indicate support for Obama's pick for the job....
Gregg was one of four Republicans who voted both for Kagan’s confirmation as Solicitor General and for Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The other three – Sens. Collins, Lugar, and Snowe – have also said they will vote for Kagan.
Lindsey Graham is the other. Ben Nelson, however, won't. At least that's what CNN's Senior Political Editor Mark Preston tweets:
Neb. Sen. Ben Nelson will vote against Kagan, but will vote with Dems. to help break a filibuster if needed.
That's confirmed in this statement from Nelson's office, based on "concerns" (unspecified) he's heard from Nebraskans. I'm sure Nebraska has been burning up Nelson's phone lines with calls about Kagan.
Nice of him to at least decide he could break this filibuster, particularly now that he knows he won't need to. All of which goes to show that in one area, the Supreme Court,the ultimate vote will generally be along party lines but with enough Republicans who believe that the President's should be shown deferrence in his choice to confirm. Hopefully that will lead Obama, if he is faced with another appointment in his next six years, to nominate a demonstrated liberal to the court.