Sotomayor vote likely to occur pre-recess

Barring something unforeseen, the Senate will confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor before the August recess.

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 LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign America isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Your tax dollars fund Afghan child rape MORE (D-Vt.) that only a week of hearings will be necessary.

Such a schedule — meaning about four days — would start with Monday’s hearing attended by Sotomayor and New York Democratic Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocrats turn on Al Franken Report: Franken will resign Thursday Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign MORE.

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 CornynJohn CornynMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Air Force makes criminal reporting changes after Texas massacre We need a better pathway for allowing civilians to move guns across state lines MORE of Texas and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE 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.

“If we have that opportunity and there’s nothing unexpected that comes up, it’s possible to have a vote by the end of the month. I don’t want to predict that, because something could come up that would push it past August. But she should be ready to start with the October term of the court.”

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.