Confirmation vote won’t be unanimous

CONFIRMATION VOTE WON’T BE UNANIMOUS…. Elena Kagan has been a Supreme Court nominee for nearly six hours now, and in general, Republicans are offering the usual niceties about keeping an open mind and looking forward to a fair evaluation.

But there’s also Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who apparently prefers to do away with pretense. Sure, he could consider the confirmation committee hearings. And perhaps he could give Kagan a chance to answer questions and talk about what she’d bring to the court. But why bother? Inhofe knows he’s going to vote against her no matter what, so he admitted as much — in a press release — just hours after the White House announcement.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced his opposition to President Obama’s nominee, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens.

“As with her nomination to serve as Solicitor General, I remain concerned about Elena Kagan’s record,” Inhofe said. “Now as a nominee to the Supreme Court, her lack of judicial experience and her interpretation of the Constitution also play an important role in my decision to once again oppose her nomination.”

He couldn’t even wait until tomorrow.

If this seems vaguely familiar, a year ago this month, Inhofe waited about seven hours after Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to announce he didn’t like her, either.

I guess Inhofe deserves credit for candor — most senators want to appear responsible and mature about a process like this one, anxious to hear more from the nominee and learn about his/her qualifications and judicial skills. Members of the world’s most deliberative body generally consider this an important part of their professional duties.

Inhofe can’t be bothered. Good to know.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.