by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he will call the Senate back into session temporarily during the month of December if it has completed its business for the year but has not taken a full Senate vote on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
Frist had planned to conclude Senate business before the Thanksgiving break, though some Congressional observers don’t know if the chamber will approve all of its spending bills by then. If the Senate is done, Frist wants to make sure the debate on Alito doesn’t go into next year.
"The Senate remains on track to complete action on all legislative items presented to it before Thanksgiving," Frist said Monday following President Bush’s announcement.
"If it’s possible to act, I will call the Senate back in to vote, up or down, on the Alito nomination, as well as available conference reports," Frist added about the possible timetable.
Frist said he would discuss those plans with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, and ranking Judiciary Democrat Pat Leahy.
Specter told Congressional Daily that he’s not sure if that schedule can be met. He noted that Alito has been a federal judge for 15 years and has a lengthy history of opinions and judicial writings that the Judiciary Committee will need to review before it can hold hearings.
"We are in the process of assembling his opinions. It is estimated he has been involved in about 3500 cases and has some 300 opinions he has written, so that we have a very good idea as to his approach to jurisprudence," Specter said.
Pro-life advocates, who announced strong support for Alito, hope the confirmation process is quick because the high court will soon be deciding cases on abortion and assisted suicide.