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Excerpts from Kagan's confirmation hearing

The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has produced exchanges both serious and silly.

June 30, 2010

The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has produced exchanges both serious and silly:

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): "Greg Craig, former chief counsel to President Obama, who's known you for some time, I understand, said of you, 'She is largely a progressive in the mode of Obama himself.' Do you agree with that?"

Elena Kagan: "Well, Sen. Sessions, I'm not quite sure how I would characterize my politics, but one thing I do know is that my politics would be, must be, have to be completely separate from my judging."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): "Now, I want to just have a little heart-to-heart talk with you, if I might. I come at the subject — "

Kagan: "Just you and me."

Feinstein: "Just you and me and nobody else."

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.): "Don't anybody in the room listen."

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.): "So tell us how you are going to help the American people. Should you be confirmed, how are you going to make a difference in their lives?"

Kagan: "Sen. Kohl, I think a judge's job is just to decide each case. And it's hard to say exactly how a judge would make a difference in their lives, because you just don't know which cases are going to come before you."

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.): "Do you agree with the characterization by some of my colleagues that the current court is too activist in supporting the position of corporations and big business?"

Kagan: "Sen. Kyl, I would not want to characterize the current court in any way. I hope one day to join it."

Kyl: "And they've said you're not political, right?"

—Times research

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