GOP leaders coming over to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's side

BY Michael Mcauliff

Friday, May 14th 2010, 4:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Key Republicans signaled a willingness Thursday to back President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, New York native Elena Kagan.

As Kagan, 50, made her second round of visits on Capitol Hill, Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins dubbed the Hunter College High School graduate "very impressive," and suggested she would not stand for fellow Republicans blocking a confirmation vote.

"At this point, I do not see any grounds for a filibuster," she said.

Kagan got another boost from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who came away "reassured" about Kagan's opinions on the military.

Republicans have accused her of being anti-armed forces because as dean of Harvard Law School she followed the school policy of limiting access to recruiters.

"She is supportive of the men and women who are fighting to protect us," Brown said.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said no one should fear having a fourth New Yorker on the court.

"Quality of people should be the No. 1 criteria, not where they come from, but of course we in New York think we have a lot of very high quality people," he said.