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Excerpts from remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

The following are excerpts from Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) opening remarks:

On Kagan's qualifications:

"I believe that you are eminently confirmable. Your experience, I think, makes you a very strong nominee for the court. You're the first woman solicitor general of the United States, as such, the top litigator before the Supreme Court. And the solicitor general is the only federal official that's required in statute to be, quote, "learned in the law," end quote. Of the 45 people who have held the job, five have gone on to the Supreme Court. "

On judicial interpretation:

"Judicial interpretation, I believe, is not a mechanical endeavor, like completing a math equation. The most powerful computer cannot tell us whether the president's powers as commander-in-chief allow him to exceed the bounds of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other statutes in wartime.

Nor can they tell us whether congressional laws barring guns from the grounds of schools or implementing new health insurance requirements are within Congress's Article I powers.

Nor can they tell us what the 14th Amendment's promise of equal protection under the law means for students in our public schools. These questions are among our nation's most important, and it takes more than an umpire to find their answers."

On Kagan's past writings:

"Elena Kagan has written that the confirmation process should be a substantive one, that the kind of inquiry that would contribute most to the understanding and evaluation of a nomination would include discussion, first, of the nominee's broad judicial philosophy and, second, of her views on particular constitutional issues. I agree. And I look forward to a meaningful discussion this week."

On the confirmation hearings as "snooze-fest":

"By all accounts, this nominee -- this nomination has been smooth so far. One newspaper even called it a "snooze-fest." If it is, it is because Elena Kagan is unquestionably qualified. Over 170,000 documents have unmasked her as an even-handed legal scholar with a sterling reputation. Each new set of documents makes it clearer that her views fall within the moderate mainstream of legal thinking in this country.

So at this stage, I see no impediment to confirmation. I hope the week ends the same way. I look forward to proceeding. "

By Emi Kolawole  |  June 28, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
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