Senate panel opens Kagan high court hearing

WASHINGTON — A Senate committee was set to begin scrutinizing US President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee on Monday in a highly charged partisan atmosphere where Republicans will focus on her lack of judicial experience and liberal political background.
Regardless, Elena Kagan is expected to win approval from the Democrat-dominated panel and confirmation by the upper chamber for a life term on the nation's highest court.
The 50-year-old Kagan now serves Obama as solicitor general, the country's top lawyer who represents the government in cases before the Supreme Court. She brings a stellar legal resume to the job, with the exception of never having served on the bench.