Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said he will vote against confirming Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the first in his party to announce opposition.
Also today, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said he will vote for President Barack Obama’s nominee, the fifth Republican to do so.
Nelson said he had heard “concerns” from people in Nebraska about Kagan.
“Her lack of a judicial record makes it difficult for me to discount the concerns raised by Nebraskans, or to reach a level of comfort that these concerns are unfounded,” Nelson said. “Therefore, I will not vote to confirm Ms. Kagan’s nomination.”
Still, Nelson said he would oppose any filibuster of Kagan’s nomination and favor allowing an “up or down vote.” It takes 60 votes to force a final vote. With 59 votes controlled by Democrats and five Republicans in support, Kagan’s nomination would have enough to end a Republican filibuster.
In announcing his support for Kagan, Gregg said she “has pledged that she will exercise judicial restraint and decide each case that comes before her based on the law, with objectivity and without regard to her personal views.”