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GOP leaders preparing for streamlined high court confirmation hearings

[JURIST] The Washington Post reported Sunday that Republicans are intent on implementing a streamlined schedule to quickly confirm a successor for retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor and avoid a repeat of the past year's stalled judicial confirmations [JURIST news archive]. A GOP Senate Judiciary Committee planning document urges that President Bush’s nominee be counseled to avoid disclosing personal political or legal opinions that may spark prolonged questioning from Democrats. Bush is expected to announce his selection after he returns from the G8 summit in Europe July 8. GOP leaders say they are prepared for hearings to begin as soon as three weeks after a nomination announcement, although observers consider it more likely for the process to be delayed until late August or early September. Senior Democrats said in television interviews Sunday [AP report] that they had no advance intention of filibustering a high court nominee, but that it was an option they had, depending on who the nominee turned out to be. The Washington Post has more.

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