Senate approves Kagan for high court

Washington (CNN) — Solicitor General Elena Kagan was easily confirmed Thursday as the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, completing the 50-year-old native New Yorker’s climb to the peak of the American legal profession.

The 63-37 vote was mostly along party lines. Five GOP senators backed Kagan, and only one Democrat — Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska — opposed her. Republican leaders offered spirited floor opposition to the nominee, but were unable to muster a prolonged delay or filibuster of the vote.

Kagan is set to begin a lifetime position as the nation’s 112th justice. She will be sworn into office Saturday afternoon, taking the traditional constitutional and judicial oaths. The newest justice will then be able to assume her court duties immediately.

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