by Steven Ertelt
November 4, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Despite the desire of President Bush and Republican leaders, Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to serve on the Supreme Court will not begin until January. The Senate Judiciary Committee would begin hearings on January 9 and the full Senate would take a vote on January 20.
The timetable was laid out by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, a pro-abortion Pennsylvania Republican. He said it was no practical to hold confirmation hearings in November or December.
Specter’s plan would make for the most drawn out confirmation process for a high court nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
"The White House wanted [Judge Alito’s confirmation] before Christmas," Specter said yesterday. "It just couldn’t be done. We have to do it right; we can’t do it fast."
White House Steve Schmidt said the Bush administration would go along with Specter’s request to postpone hearings until January.
Pro-life advocates had hoped for a faster schedule because they want Alito on the Supreme Court soon to be able to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The court is expected to vote on abortion cases involving parental notification and the national partial-birth abortion ban as well as one involving assisted suicide.
Chief Justice John Roberts could call on the court to rehear the cases Alito missed, if he’s confirmed, or he could ask Alito to review the transcripts and legal papers and vote with the rest of the court.