Kagan Triumphant: 'Some Republicans See Her Confirmation to the Supreme Court As All but Assured'

All hail Kagan! Sheryl Gay Stolberg and legal reporter Charlie Savage teamed up to cover Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's second day of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee: "In 2nd Day of Quizzing, Kagan Sticks to Script." The text box had soothing words for Democrats: "Some Republicans see her confirmation to the Supreme Court as all but assured."

Stolberg called Kagan "a brilliant woman...who is also very funny and warm and witty" in a nytimes.com podcast Monday and has seen nothing at the hearings thus far to change her favorable opinion:

They grilled her on her handling of military recruitment at Harvard Law School. They highlighted how, as an aide to President Bill Clinton, she helped edit a medical group's statement to strengthen support for the procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.

They painted her as a partisan and suggested she would be too deferential to Congress when reviewing the constitutionality of sweeping legislation, like President Obama's landmark health care law.

But try as they might, Republicans could not knock Solicitor General Elena Kagan off her stride. And as her second day of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee wound down on Wednesday, some conceded that her confirmation to the Supreme Court was all but assured.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, referred to Ms. Kagan as "soon-to-be Justice Kagan" and said he assumed she would be confirmed.