Judiciary Republicans Delay Vote on Sotomayor

Posted July 21, 2009 at 9:38am

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee formally delayed a final vote on the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, putting off the start of a Senate floor debate until next week at the earliest.

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had hoped to hold a committee vote on Sotomayor’s nomination today, but Republicans invoked their right under the panel’s rules to a one-week delay. The vote will now take place on July 28.

“I have been advised by Sen. Sessions that the Republicans wish to put over the nomination of Judge Sotomayor. They have that right to put it over, but we will come back in on Tuesday, rather than Thursday of next week. And we will do that because the U.S. Supreme Court is coming in early for a very unusual case,— Leahy said, referring to the Supreme Court’s rare September hearing of a case challenging key aspects of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

Ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) seemed resigned to the fact that Sotomayor would ultimately be confirmed to the high court, saying that he expects the floor debate to occur “without delay.—

Following the Judiciary meeting, Leahy said that while he is disappointed Republicans delayed the final committee vote, he still believes that Sotomayor’s installment on the bench is assured.

“The irony is that when we begin the [floor] debate, there won’t be a single Senator, Republican or Democrat, who doesn’t know how he or she is going to vote,— Leahy said.

At least four Republican Senators have said they would support the nomination. All Democrats are expected to vote “yes.—