By J. Taylor Rushing - 07/07/09 07:47 PM EDT
Republicans in May had suggested that a final floor vote wouldn’t occur until the fall, but GOP senators on Tuesday said they will not push to extend her confirmation into September.
The backtracking indicates that Democrats continue to enjoy the upper hand on the Sotomayor nomination. It also shows that Republicans agree with Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that only a week of hearings will be necessary.
Leahy said a single week of hearings approximates the confirmation schedule of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito — both Bush administration appointees.
“Oh, good Lord, yes,” Leahy said when asked if a single week would be sufficient. “There’s no reason to spend any longer on this candidate, a woman, than we did for both of those men.”
Two top Republicans on the Judiciary Committee — John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — concurred with Leahy, with a caveat.
“I think that’s sort of in the ballpark,” Cornyn said. “There’s a little dance that goes on, in case you haven’t noticed, so that we don’t get jammed by the majority party. We need time to review her record.
Graham said if the schedule for Roberts and Alito followed the same swift pace, he has no problem with a week’s worth of hearings.
“I would expect something similar to what we did before,” he said.