[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] chairman Arlen Specter Sunday acknowledged that a "heavy sense of drama" surrounded the Supreme Court confirmation hearings [official notice] for Judge Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive], set to begin Monday. In a statement prepared for delivery at the opening of the first session, Specter promised that the process, expected to last through Thursday, "will give Judge Alito a full opportunity to address the issues of concern." Earlier on Sunday Specter said in a CBS television interview [PDF] that he would be asking the nominee about his jurisprudential approach to executive powers issues arising out of the President's now-disclosed warrantless surveillance program [JURIST news archive], and also anticipated questions to Alito about a woman's right to choose. On the latter, however, Spcter admitted "He's not going to say how he's going to vote if Roe comes up, and I don't think he should say that." Reuters has more.