Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced that confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will begin on July 13. Republicans, however, argue that this date is too early and will not give the Senate enough time to evaluate her record prior to the August recess for Congress.
The Real Deal
Underneath the political rangling over the timing of the hearings, the Democrats want to complete the process before August because the longer Sotomayor's nomination remains pending, the longer she will remain vulnerable to attacks from her opponents. Republicans want to keep things unresolved into September for the exact same reason.
As a Court watcher, I believe that the hearings should begin sooner than later. Although Sotomayor has a long record, Senators are not reading each case she has decided. Instead, they will read broad outlines of her jurisprudence and judicial record, reviews from her colleagues, comments by attorneys, and the comprehensive report and rating of the American Bar Association (currently under production). The case should and will go forward before the August recess.