In a letter Friday, Estrada touted Kagan’s qualifications, calling her views “firmly center-left” and “well within the mainstream of current legal thought.”

“Elena possesses a formidable intellect, an exemplary temperament and a rare ability to disagree with others without being disagreeable,” Estrada wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “If such a person, who has demonstrated great intellect, high accomplishments and an upright life, is not easily confirmable, I fear we will have reached a point where no capable person will readily accept a nomination for judicial service.”