The Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Elena Kagan as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, in a 63-37 vote. Five Republicans voted for Kagan, and one Democrat voted against her. Texas’ two Republican senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, voted against Kagan. Here’s a statement from Jon Davidson, executive director of Lambda Legal:

“Kagan assumes a seat historically held by judicial champions of the rights of individuals. Until his recent retirement, the seat was held by Justice John Paul Stevens, who was a stalwart protector of liberty and equality. He in turn had filled the seat of Justice William O. Douglas, who authored the Court’s decision striking down laws banning the use of contraceptives. And, before Douglas, that seat was held by one of the most brilliant defenders of constitutional rights among the court’s pantheon, Justice Louis Brandeis.

“Lambda Legal congratulates Justice Kagan on her historic appointment — it is the first time this country will have had three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Justice Kagan has been a trailblazer in her profession and a distinguished legal scholar and leader for many years. Her outstanding legal career has well prepared her for this appointment. We look forward to her tenure on the bench and hope that she will follow in the footsteps of those who held her seat before her.”

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