updated 5/10/2010 4:27:30 PM ET 2010-05-10T20:27:30

Democrats praised President Barack Obama's nomination on Monday of Elena Kagan to a lifetime post on the U.S. Supreme Court, while some Republicans questioned whether she had the experience or judgment for the job.

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The president picked the former Harvard Law School dean to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Here is a look at some quotes about Kagan's nomination.

* Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

"You know, we have some Republicans who would automatically oppose anybody who was nominated. The president could nominate Moses the Lawgiver. In fact, I told the president ... 'You realize if you had nominated Moses the Lawgiver, somebody would raise: 'But he doesn't have a birth certificate. Where is his birth certificate?'"

* Republican Senator James Inhofe:

"The position for which she has been nominated has lifetime tenure, and it is concerning that the president has placed such trust in a nominee that has not been properly vetted through a judicial career, having worked mostly in academia and never before as a judge."

* Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid:

"I am particularly pleased President Obama has chosen a nominee from outside the judicial monastery. I believe that through her confirmation process, Elena Kagan will demonstrate that her primary allegiance is to fairness, justice and the rule of law, not ideology."

* Obama during a White House ceremony:

"Elena is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost legal minds. She's an acclaimed legal scholar with a rich understanding of constitutional law."

* Kagan during the same White House ceremony:

"The court is an extraordinary institution in the work it does and in the work it can do for the American people by advancing the tenets of our Constitution, by upholding the rule of law, and by enabling all Americans, regardless of their background or their beliefs, to get a fair hearing and an equal chance at justice."

* Democratic Senator Arlen Specter, who voted against Kagan's nomination last year for the job of solicitor general as a Republican before changing parties:

"I have an open mind about her nomination and hope she will address important questions related to her position on matters such as executive power, warrantless wiretapping, a woman's right to choose, voting rights and congressional power. There is no doubt that Elena Kagan has exemplary academic and professional credentials."

* Republican Senator Lindsey Graham:

"Solicitor General Kagan has a strong academic background in the law. I have been generally pleased with her job performance as solicitor general, particularly regarding legal issues related to the war on terror."

* Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, on Fox News Channel regarding Kagan's opposition while at Harvard to on-campus military recruiting due to her disagreement with U.S. policy barring gays from serving openly in the armed forces:

"Her decision in effect to put her own gay rights agenda above U.S. law that said if you're going to take federal money that you have to allow military recruiters on campus is certainly troubling."

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