Bench Memos

But Did Specter Get It in Writing?

From Leahy:

Statement of Sen. Leahy on Scheduling of a Committee Vote on the Nomination of Judge Alito

1/16/2006 7:15:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Tracy Schmaler, 202-224-2154

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ — Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, ranking member, Senate Judiciary Committee, on scheduling of a committee vote on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:

“In our conversations over this weekend, Chairman Specter and I reached an agreement regarding how the Committee should proceed to consideration of the Alito nomination. We agreed to proceed on Tuesday, January 24. This allows all Senators, Republicans and Democrats, to conclude Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday events without having to rush back to Washington before the Senate returns to session. In accordance with our discussion, there is no need to proceed with a business meeting tomorrow, January 17. This arrangement accommodates Republicans and Democrats.

“As we had discussed last Friday, the only purpose a meeting tomorrow would have served would have been to hold over the nomination, pursuant to Committee rules and longstanding practice. I have assured Chairman Specter that no Democratic Senator will hold the matter over on January 24. He does not anticipate that any Republican Senator will seek to hold it over at that time.

“Finally, once the nomination is debated and voted upon by the Committee, I expect floor consideration will begin in accordance with Senate rules and when the Republican leader, in consultation with the Democratic leader, chooses to proceed to the matter.”

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