Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Monday said it is "entirely possible" that Republicans will try to delay Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing into August.
Durbin's comments come among speculation that Republicans could push the confirmation hearings closer to the midterm elections in order to hurt Democrats at the voting booth.
Asked on MSNBC if he thinks such a scenario is possible, Durbin replied that it is "entirely possible.
Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday that he hopes for Kagan's confirmation to be wrapped up by the summer.
But the liberal blog Talking Points Memo reported Monday that a GOP strategist recently advised GOP operatives in private that delaying the hearings could be politically beneficial.
Republican senators have largely said that they will conduct a tough but fair line of questioning with Kagan, saying it will be similar to Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process, which lasted less than a month.
It is unlikely that the GOP will filibuster Kagan, but they have not ruled out the prospect. Critics have said that because Kagan has not served as a judge, she does not have a long canon of writing on which to examine her legal views.
Durbin urged senators to conduct an "expedited" confirmation hearing, but said it is important not to rush it.
"Let's get this done in an expedited way," he said. "Let's not drag it out; let's not try to accelerate it. Let's make sure we understand completely what her candidacy is all about."