A polarized US Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday approved Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court of the US. If confirmed, she would be the third concurrent female justice on the Court.
Just one Republican joined Democrats to approve Kagan's nomination and send it to the full Senate, where she is expected to win confirmation within weeks.
If confirmed, Kagan would be the fourth woman to serve on the court and her swearing-in would mark the first time that three women have served together on the nine-member Supreme Court. Justices often serve for life so their influence can extend well beyond the president who nominates them.
The debate over her nomination has unfolded against a highly partisan backdrop, at a time when Republicans are focused on making sharp distinctions between themselves and US President Obama, who approval ratings are sagging little more than 100 days out from November elections.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, broke with his party to cast the sole Republican "yes" vote on Obama's nominee to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. The vote was 13-6.