nominee for the Supreme Court
, Elena Kagan, is getting some support for her nomination from the Republican side of the bench.
Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told ABC's "Good Morning America"
Thursday that Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, is "very well qualified academically" and should be confirmed by the Senate
. "She'll have to go through the process of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And I don't care who you are, it's a difficult, unpleasant experience for the nominee," O'Connor told anchor George Stephanopoulos. "It's dreadful."
O'Connor was the first woman named to the highest court in the land; Kagan, if confirmed, would be the fourth.
Kagan, who has no judicial experience, also got an encouraging word -- though not an explicit endorsement
-- from one of the most conservative members of the court, Antonin Scalia. The fact that Kagan has never served as a judge is a positive, Scalia said Wednesday
in a speech at Catholic University's Columbus School
of Law. "Currently, there is nobody on the court who has not served as a judge -- indeed, as a federal judge -- all nine of us," Scalia said. ". . . I am happy to see that this latest nominee is not a federal judge -- and not a judge at all."
Obama wants his pick to be confirmed in time for the start of the court's fall term. Kagan, a New Yorker and former dean of Harvard Law School, was nominated to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring.