Just after meeting one-on-one with nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, announced that he would like to delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings until September.
Some have theorized that conservatives want the delay because the recent murder of abortion doctor George Tiller will make it difficult for them to press their social agenda during the Senate hearings.
Obama has said that he would like the hearings to take place before the August Congressional break. But Sessions announced:
I don’t think that it’s good to rush this nomination. … We’ve got until October 5th for the nominee to take office. That’s the date that Justice Souter will be departing.
The only problem with this is that it isn’t true. In his resignation letter to Obama, Souter said he would retire when the Supreme Court starts its summer recess, likely around the end of June.
But hey, Republicans have forced Minnesota to survive with only one senator for seven months now, they would probably love for the Supreme Court to be short one liberal justice for a while.