Gibbs: Senate Can Confirm Sotomayor by August Recess

Posted May 26, 2009 at 3:29pm

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday insisted that the Senate has enough time to vet and confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor before it adjourns for the August recess.President Barack Obama said earlier in the day that he wants the confirmation before Congress departs so that Sotomayor can participate in the high court’s September review of which cases will be considered this fall. Gibbs said the average time from announcement to confirmation is about 72 days, which is the same amount of time that it took for the Senate to approve the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts. There are 74 days until the August recess.There is “ample time to begin and complete this process in what [Obama] thinks is a timely manner,— Gibbs said.Gibbs also asserted that the 54-year-old Sotomayor is “not unfamiliar— to the Senate, noting that she has been confirmed twice before for lower court judgeships. Gibbs indicated Sotomayor will be escorted to the Senate by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and will not have a “sherpa— from the private sector to help guide her, as many past nominees have had.Sotomayor, the first Hispanic high court nominee, will begin her formal introductions next week, starting with members of Judiciary Committee and later with the Senate at large.Gibbs went on the attack against conservative groups that are objecting to the selection, saying that their response is “regrettably predictable— and that they are possibly “engaged more in interest group fundraising— than a legitimate critique of Sotomayor’s record. Gibbs sought to dismiss a video showing Sotomayor saying that “the appeals courts is where policy is made,— calling it a “very short, out-of-context YouTube clip.—Gibbs also said that during the selection process, there was “no litmus test— and Sotomayor was not asked by the president about issues related to abortion.