Judge Anthony M. Kennedy's confirmation hearings will begin Monday in the same room and before the same Senate Judiciary Committee that two months ago rejected the nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork.

Any similarity between the committee appearances of the two nominees is likely to end there. Neither proponents nor opponents think that the federal appeals court judge from Sacramento will spark the ideological battle that doomed Bork, President Reagan's original choice to fill the court seat vacated last June by Lewis F. Powell Jr.

Nor do committee members and staff expect the nomination to be derailed by a surprise disclosure, such as the marijuana use that doomed Reagan's second nominee, Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.

Committee Democrats and Republicans said they will press the conservative jurist to explain his views in a number of areas, especially civil rights, the right to privacy and adherence to prior high court rulings.

But, barring a major misstep by the cautious nominee, several sources said Kennedy could receive a unanimous recommendation of confirmation by the Senate.

Democrats, said one Democratic aide, are likely to conclude that "he's not their ideal nominee, but the question is, is he a good nominee, an acceptable nominee, and most think that he is."

Kennedy, a former lobbyist in the California legislature who has been a judge for 12 years, has impressed senators in his private meetings with them, according to a Republican committee aide. "He has just hit the precisely correct chord with each senator."

"He is the sort of judge I would be very comfortable appearing before, whichever side I was on. . . , " said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted against Bork. "I really expect to vote for him."

Bork went before the Judiciary Committee with a limited endorsement from the American Bar Association and with dozens of groups and individuals ready to testify against him. In contrast, Kennedy will appear with a unanimous top rating from the ABA, with about 30 witnesses scheduled to testify, and with only one of those, the National Organization for Women, certain to oppose him.

Kennedy will be introduced by Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) and two California liberal Democrats, Reps. Robert T. Matsui and Vic Fazio, and is expected to testify Monday afternoon and Tuesday. ABA representatives will testify on Wednesday.

After that, Harvard Law Prof. Laurence H. Tribe, a leading liberal academic who opposed Bork, is scheduled to testify for Kennedy as is former Harvard Law School dean and solicitor general Irwin N. Griswold.

A number of groups, including the liberal Nation Institute, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, the National Lawyers Guild and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, are scheduled to voice concerns about Kennedy's views but not to oppose him.

Other groups, such as the conservative Concerned Women for America, law enforcement organizations and a number of law professors are expected to testify in his favor.

But conservatives such as Sens. Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) plan to question Kennedy about his position on abortion and judicial restraint. The lack of solid liberal opposition before the hearings does not ensure clear sailing for Kennedy, according to Ralph G. Neas, director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of 185 groups that led the opposition to Bork.

"Many of the organizations {that opposed Bork} want to know more about Anthony Kennedy," Neas said, "especially about his judicial philosophy. Unlike Judge Bork, there is not an extensive written record that explains that philosophy." The groups, he said, will decide what to do based on what Kennedy says when he testifies on Monday and Tuesday.

Neas said that Kennedy, in contrast to Bork, has not used his speeches or opinions to "expound a judicial philosophy," so "in some ways, the hearings will be even more important" in determining whether liberal groups will oppose Kennedy.

Several civil rights groups, citing Kennedy's rulings on cases involving voting rights, sex discrimination and Kennedy's former membership in male-only or exclusively white private clubs, may decide what to do based on his answers to questions in those areas.

One thing Democrats said they will insist on is that Kennedy fully explain his views. Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and others have made it clear to Kennedy that "he can't pull another {Justice Antonin} Scalia or even another {Justice Sandra Day} O'Connor" and not answer questions, said one Democratic aide. "We are not going back to the old days," the aide said, when few questions about judicial views were asked.

"It is important," Leahy said, for the hearings to show that "Justice Scalia was the last person to be able to go through a hearing without answering questions," Leahy said. "Kennedy . . . has said he expects, anticipates and welcomes a forceful exploration of his views."