“I’m going to vote for her because I believe the last election had consequences,” he said. “This president chose someone who is qualified, who has the experience and knowledge to serve on this court … and understands the difference between being a liberal judge and a politican.”

Ultimately, “it was not a hard decision for me to make,” he said.

Announcing his decision shortly before the 19-member panel was to vote on her nomination, Graham repeatedly noted areas of ideological disagreement between himself and Kagan, emphasizing that she is “a liberal,” but said that President Barack Obama “chose wisely” when deciding on a judge who shares his ideology.

She “will serve this nation honorably,” he added.