Today, the Senate Judiciary committee approved Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court and sent it to the Senate floor where she will be officially confirmed later this summer.  Kagan is President Obama’s second nominee to the high court and she is the second woman he has nominated, as well.  Though Kagan herself has questioned the usefulness of Senate confirmation hearings, and few Americans even tuned in, the hearings held last month generally went smoothly as she waved her liberal, progressive flag.  None of this is big news.  The big issue surrounding Ms. Kagan’s nomination is her polling numbers.

Assuming she is confirmed, Elena Kagan will be the very first nominee in recent history whose nomination is backed by less than a majority of Americans before the final confirmation vote in the Senate.  Only 44% of Americans say they are in favor of Kagan’s nomination, according to Gallup.  While justices of the Supreme Court are not bound by popular opinion, the public officials who nominate her are.  President Obama should pay attention to this message from the American people.  Clearly this chapter of his legacy is falling out of favor.