Monday, January 16, 2006

Senate Democrats May Delay Alito Vote

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. However, the Democrats are now threatening to delay the committee vote for a week.

Originally, the Republicans pushed for committee hearings in December, but Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and ranking minority member Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) agreed on hearings in January. The later hearings were sought by the Democrats to give their liberal interest group allies more time to find dirt on Alito. Specter and Leahy even agreed to build in a one-week delay, which any senator on the committee would have a right to request anyway, on the understanding that the Democrats would not request a further one-week delay.

So much for the word of the Senate Democrats. It appears that the Democrats want to delay the confirmation vote, in part for the petty reason that the delay prevents Pres. Bush from including the confirmation of Alito in the State of the Union speech. Also, the delay allows the Dems to hold their caucus on Wednesday. At the caucus, the Dems can decide whether they will filibuster Alito's confirmation, although it is unlikely that enough senators (40) will vote to sustain a filibuster.

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