updated 5/10/2010 2:46:46 PM ET 2010-05-10T18:46:46

Then-Republican Arlen Specter voted against Elena Kagan when she was up for confirmation as solicitor general. But now that she's nominated for the Supreme Court — and he's a Democrat — Specter says he'll keep an open mind.

Specter says he voted against Kagan at her confirmation hearing for solicitor general because she didn't answer basic questions about how she'd handle the job. That was also back when Specter was the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He switched to the Democratic party last year.

On Monday, Specter said the solicitor general position is "distinctly different" from Supreme Court justice and noted Kagan's "exemplary" credentials.

Specter says he hopes Kagan will answer questions on executive power, abortion and warrantless wiretapping during confirmation.

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