CQ ignores Sessions' previous call for speedy Supreme Court confirmation process

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

CQ Today reported that Sen. Jeff Sessions said Republicans "might throw up procedural roadblocks to delay" Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, but did not note that Sessions reportedly called for fast action on Justice Samuel Alito's confirmation process.

In a July 7 article, CQ Today reported that Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) "says his party might throw up procedural roadblocks to delay next week's planned confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor," and forwarded his complaint that the committee "had received 'only about 1,000 pages' out of 300 boxes of material" related to Sotomayor's activities with a Puerto Rican civil rights group. But CQ Today did not note that Sessions reportedly called for fast action on Justice Samuel Alito's confirmation process, stating: "My personal view is, let's finish it this year; let's not have it hanging out there. ... You don't have to read everything he's written."

As Media Matters for America has noted, The New York Times and the Associated Press advanced Sessions' criticism of the timing of Sotomayor's confirmation hearing or his demands for access to additional documents without noting his prior comments on the timing of Alito's confirmation hearing.

From the July 7 CQ Today article, "GOP Looks for Ways to Delay Sotomayor Hearing":

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says his party might throw up procedural roadblocks to delay next week's planned confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

"We feel like the date was too early," Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said Monday after committee Republicans met to discuss their strategy for questioning Sotomayor.

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.

Sessions said Republicans would press that point in the coming days. But he did not rule out using procedural tools to stall the hearing, which is scheduled to begin July 13.

"We're going to try to be ready but if something comes up we'll definitely exercise what options are available," he said.

One tool at Sessions' disposal is a Senate rule that prevents committees from meeting for more than two hours after the start of a session without the consent of the full Senate. That rule gives the minority party the power to disrupt their colleagues' daily schedules.

Sessions said he's also worried that four of the Judiciary Committee's GOP members could be tied up next week in meetings of the Senate Finance Committee, which is working on a major health care overhaul.

"If they tried to force both of those at the same time it would just be unacceptable," Sessions said.

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