Elena Kagan's appointment to the US Supreme Court has cleared a major hurdle with the Senate Judiciary Committee sending her nomination to the full senate.
After months of grueling confirmation hearings, the Committee voted 13 to six to send Kagan through to the next stage. The vote was mainly along party lines, with Senator Lindsey Graham the lone Republican representative to vote for Kagan's nomination to proceed.
Kagan, the US solicitor-general, is Barack Obama's nominee to fill a vacancy created by the retiring 90 year-old Justice John Stevens.
Kagan has demonstrated grace and humour during the hearings. On one occasion, when asked where she was on Christmas day, she replied; "You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant".