[JURIST] John R. Bolton [official profile], the State Department official who is President Bush's nominee for US Ambassador to the United Nations, faces questioning Monday before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] before a confirmation vote that is currently expected Thursday. Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security [official website], has a reputation as a blunt speaker and has often been accused of lacking tact and the necessary skills for effective diplomacy. His critical comments about the UN system have made him the target of recent criticism, although supporters argue he could help the cause of UN reform already embraced by the UN leadership. Republicans currently control the Foreign Relations Committee 10 - 8, and Bolton's nomination is expected to be approved along party lines. Nomination hearings begin at 9:30 AM EST. Watch live coverage of the hearings direct from the Committee, and review the notice of hearing. AP has more.