The Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan begin today. President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Kagan to the Supreme Court on May 10. If confirmed, Kagan would be the fourth woman Supreme Court Justice ever confirmed to the Court. She would be the third woman justice on the current Court and would fill the seat vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced his retirement in April. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), told “Good Morning America” that Kagan “will be confirmed…[with] how many votes I don’t know, [but] she will get a whole lot of votes,” reported Reuters. Ranking Republican member Jeff Sessions (R-AL), appeared with Leahy on the program and said that Kagan’s confirmation “depends on how this hearing goes.” Criticism of Kagan has largely been focused around her lack of experience as a judge, despite the fact that 40 of the 111 Supreme Court Justices had no judicial experience. President Obama has rejected this criticism as being “pretty thin gruel,” according to Reuters. Kagan has served as President Obama’s Solicitor General since March of 2009. Prior to that, Kagan was the Dean of Harvard Law School and was the first woman to hold that position. Kagan also served in several positions within the Clinton White House and clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall prior to her tenure at Harvard. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told “Fox News Sunday” that, “I believe the drift net has been out to find some disqualifying factor and it hasn’t been found.” She continued, “[Kagan] will bring, I think, a new breath into the court. It will be a mainstream breath. It will not be far right. It will not be far left. It will be in the middle,” reported CNN. Kagan is President Obama’s second appointment to the high court. His first Supreme Court appointee, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was sworn in on August 8, 2009.