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Eric Holder Vote Delayed


The Senate Judiciary Committee held a brief meeting this afternoon in which Republicans forced a one-week delay in a committee vote on the nomination of Eric Holder to be attorney general.  Chairman Patrick Leahy wanted to hold the vote today, but ranking Republican Arlen Specter complained that members had not had enough time to question Holder at hearings last week.  Under the committee’s rules, the minority can be granted a one-week delay in the vote. 

Specter said he had held a meeting of committee Republicans this morning, “and there was a unanimous view that there has been insufficient time to question Mr. Holder.”  Specter complained that Leahy had rushed the question period last week and allowed less time for Republicans to question Holder than Democrats had been given to question Bush administration nominees.  Specter also recalled that a few years ago he had at least one heated discussion with George W. Bush, when the then-president was trying to pressure Specter to speed up hearings for John Roberts and Samuel Alito.  Specter said he declined both of Bush’s requests, implying that Leahy should resist pressure from the Obama White House.  In the end, an “extremely disappointed” Leahy announced that the vote will be held next week.


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