The Senate Judiciary Committee has an Executive Business Meeting for tomorrow at which Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court will be on the schedule. It is widely expected that Committee Republicans will seek a one-week delay on the vote, pushing it back until July 28th.
That would leave the Senate with a little more than a week to bring her nomination to the floor for a vote and it is assumed that efforts to get her confirmed before the recess will be successful … and that is, predictably, angering right-wing groups who hope to use the August recess to try and build a campaign to oppose her nomination:
Republicans had their own political pressures as well. With seven GOP men on the Judiciary Committee, they did not want to appear overly aggressive with Sotomayor, who would become just the third female justice. And given that they lack enough votes to sustain a filibuster, even if they wanted to, attempting to delay the seating of a nominee who will almost certainly be confirmed would likely cost them support from Latinos, a fast-growing constituency that is already voting heavily Democratic. As a result, they’re backing down on earlier demands to delay a final vote until September.
“In any case, conservatives will not be happy if the GOP rolls over with regard to Obama’s politically motivated goal of getting Sotomayor confirmed before the August recess,” said Curt Levey, head of the conservative group Committee for Justice.
While some conservatives say that GOP senators effectively laid out inconsistencies in her testimony, activists want the slow-news month of August – when Congress is on recess – to build a campaign opposing her nomination.
Charmaine Yoest, head of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life who testified against Sotomayor, said that an extra month would be helpful to her cause.
“The more time we have to educate people, the more we would continue to emphasize to people that a vote for her is a vote for abortion on demand without any restrictions whatsoever,” Yoest said.
Presumably, as the August deadline approaches, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Manuel Miranda and his Third Branch Coalition, which has made delaying Sotomayor’s confirmation vote until September a test of loyalty for GOP senators and been consistently urging the use of a filibuster in order to achieve the desired delay.
Whether or not Republicans in the Senate bow to the Right’s demands remains to be seen.