Harry Reid: Kagan has Impressive Credentials


Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, kicked off a round of meetings on Capitol Hill today with a visit to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid said as he went into their meeting this morning that he would like the confirmation process for Kagan to be "as smooth as possible," CBS News Capitol Hill Producer John Nolen reports. Senate Democrats have said they would like to vote on Kagan's confirmation before leaving for their August recess.

"There's nothing more exciting than what we're about to undertake and have a new member of the Supreme Court," Reid said.

After the meeting, Reid released a statement saying he is confident Kagan is the right successor for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

"She has a strong belief that the Supreme Court should be a forum where the rule of law wins out and where people from every walk of life can receive a fair hearing," he said. "Her impressive credentials and understanding of the real-world impact of the Court's rulings on Nevadans and all Americans will serve her well in this role."

Kagan also sits down this morning with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he has concerns Kagan could be a "rubber stamp" for Obama administration policies, the Associated Press reports.

At the start of their meeting, McConnell said the confirmation process will be "challenging" and "thorough" and that there will not be a "rush to judgment" about Kagan's credentials.

Kagan also meets today with several other senators, including Patrick Leahy (the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee), Jeff Sessions (the top Republican on the committee), and Dick Durbin (the Senate Majority Whip and a member of the committee).

More on Elena Kagan's nomination:

Elena Kagan White House "Interview" Riles Reporters
Elena Kagan Takes Center Stage in 2010 Campaign Battles
Kagan to Meet With Key Senators Wednesday
Washington Unplugged: Kagan Riles Both Sides of the Aisle
Jeff Sessions: Kagan Won't Shift Court on Abortion
Chip Reid: Why Kagan? In A Word: "Leadership"
Photos: Elena Kagan
CBSNews.com Special Report: Elena Kagan