Elena Kagan was confirmed by the Senate, Thursday, as the newest member of the Supreme Court, the top judicial entity in the U.S. Kagan becomes the second member after Sonia Sotomayor to join under President Obama, and the fourth woman in its 221-year history. The Senate divided largely on partisan lines, voting 63 to 37 in her favor, with five Republicans breaking rank and supporting her, and one Democrat in opposition. Kagan’s appointment is not likely to change the political direction of the court, analysts seem to agree. She replaces a liberal, John Paul Stevens, who retired in June. She is likely to face key early rulings on immigration. Republican senators argued she lacked judicial experience as she has never served as a judge. Kagan, 50, was a professor at the Harvard Law School, where she had previously studied, and then its dean. Obama appointed her in 2009 to be his solicitor general. Kagan will be sworn in on Saturday but will not take her seat until October.
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