Senate Republicans realize that, barring some yet-unrevealed scandal, there’s little standing in the way of Sonia Sotomayor’s eventual placement on the Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean they’re not going to do everything in their powers to delay the process. Indeed, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said yesterday that even the July 13 target for Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing is “too early.”
Republican senators want more time to prepare their questions for the nominee, especially about a legal advocacy group for Latinos that Sotomayor was affiliated with in the past.
The group, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, turned over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee last week.
Sessions said the committee had received “only about 1,000 pages” out of 300 boxes of material in the group’s archives.
“I just don’t know whether everything’s been produced that’s legitimate to be produced,” he said.
The tactic is clear: The nomination might be inevitable, but each day that Congress is scrutinizing Sotomayor is another day it’s not tackling health care, climate change and the other legislative priorities the Democrats had hoped to take up while President Obama still has the political capital to push through controversial reforms — priorities the Republicans are hoping to kill.
Indeed, the White House has already conceded that there’s likely no time on this year’s legislative calendar for either immigration reform or a transportation bill (they’re opting for an 18-month extension of the current funding instead).
More and more, this is looking like a one-issue year.
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