Barring extraordinary circumstances, Solicitor General Elena Kagan should have a relatively smooth confirmation to the Supreme Court if nominated by President Barack Obama.
The Senate will determine whether the 50-year-old Kagan will become the replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. And Democrats control the chamber with 59 votes, one short of what they would need to forestall any possibility of a nomination-killing filibuster.
Seven Republicans voted for her nomination to be solicitor general, making it unlikely the GOP can unify enough to sustain a filibuster.
If nominated, Kagan will become the third woman on the nine-member court, the highest number in the Supreme Court's history.