Republicans lawmakers and conservative activists fear Kagan will emerge as a strong voice on the high court against gun-ownership rights.
But five Republican senators have pledged to vote for Kagan, making her a shoo-in for confirmation.
This puts the NRA in the tricky position of having to decide how much political capital to spend against Kagan.
The Senate is expected to vote on Kagan by the end of this week, after a floor debate. A senior Democratic aide said lawmakers may debate the nomination throughout the week during breaks in legislative action.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Kagan could help significantly narrow the court’s view of gun rights.
Conservative activists who focus on the judiciary say the NRA is very protective of its win-loss record in political fights and is loath to undermine its powerful reputation with a losing effort against Kagan. Read more
Recommended books for gun collectors: