About independence: "As a judge, you are on nobody's team. As a judge, you are an independent actor."
About the process: "Every judge, every justice has to do what he or she thinks is right. You wouldn't want the judicial process to become in any way a bargaining process."
About the current court: Responding to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who said justices named by Republican presidents were "driving the law in a different direction by the narrowest possible margin": "I want to make it clear that I'm not agreeing to your characterizations of the current court. I think that that would be inappropriate for me to do."
"I do believe that one of the benefits of narrow decisions, of approaching one case at a time and in each case trying to think of the narrowest way to decide the case, is to enable consensus."
About advocacy: "The worst kind of thing you can say of a judge is he or she is results-oriented. It suggests that a judge is kind of picking sides irrespective of what the law requires."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.: "I keep wanting to ask you about the famous case of Edward versus Jacob or the vampire versus the werewolf. ... I know you can't comment on future cases. So I'll leave that alone."
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.: "Solicitor General Kagan will be confirmed."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: "I assume she will be confirmed. The arithmetic is not there. There would have to be some dramatic development to change that."
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader: "When we look at Elena Kagan's résumé, what we find is a woman who has spent much of her adult life working to advance the goals of the Democratic Party."
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.: "She's certainly very adept at describing what she thinks about the law. By the same token, I think she's been very adept at avoiding very specific questions that could result in criticism of her point ofview."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: "You're a wonderful role model for women. We'll forget whether you're a Democrat or Republican. You know, you're reasoned, you have a commitment, you have a dedication and a staying power, and you do us all well."
It was unclear in light of planned funeral arrangements for Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., when senators might complete the hearings, including testimony from outside witnesses that had been planned for Thursday. A vote on Kagan's confirmation is expected later this month.