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Sotomayor committee vote delayed a week by Senate Republicans

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Tuesday delayed a vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor [WH profile; JURIST news archive] at the request of Senate Republicans. The vote on whether to send the nomination for consideration by the full Senate is now scheduled for July 28 [hearing notice]. Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] said that he was "disappointed" by the delay, but that he remained confident Sotomayor would be confirmed [Washington Post report] and seated by the time the Court reconvenes for a special argument session on September 9. Also this week, Sotomayor returned responses to written questions [materials] from several Republican senators. Four Republican senators have declared their support for Sotomayor, and she is likely to be supported by all Senate Democrats.

Sotomayor faced questions from senators during last week's confirmation hearings [JURIST report]. Earlier this month, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary [association website] gave Sotomayor a unanimous "well-qualified" rating [letter, PDF; JURIST report]. In May, Obama praised [JURIST report] Sotomayor's experience and wisdom, rebuking Republicans who would oppose her confirmation. Obama warned against partisanship in the confirmation process, saying that he hoped Congress would "avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship" that marked past confirmation hearings. Obama nominated Sotomayor in May to replace retiring [JURIST reports] Justice David Souter [official profile, PDF; JURIST news archive].

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