Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan declined Wednesday to express her views on the high court's role in deciding gay marriage.

In her third day testifying before senators, Kagan was asked to comment on whether states had the right to define marriage by Senator Chuck Grassley, a gay marriage foe.

The Iowa Republican said he was only asking because “it's coming down the road.” A reference to three gay marriage lawsuits currently wending their way to the Supreme Court. A ruling is expected any day now in a California case that questions the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, approved by voters in 2008. The other two cases have been filed in Massachusetts and are just getting underway. In both cases, plaintiffs – gay couples married in the state – claim the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies, violates their constitutional rights. All three cases are expected to reach the high court.

Grassley continued, asking Kagan if she agreed that Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 case appealed to, but not heard by, the Supreme Court in which the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a law that limits marriage to a heterosexual union, settled the issue.

“Do you agree that the court's decision in Baker v. Nelson, holding that federal courts lack jurisdiction to hear challenges to state marriage laws was correct?” Grassley asked.

“My best understanding is that that decision has some precedential weight, but not the weight of a 'normal' decision,” Kagan answerer.

The high court refused to hear Baker v. Nelson because it lacked a “substantial federal question.”

Grassley, who supports putting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the Iowa Constitution, expressed disappointment that Kagan did not say the issue was settled.