Bench Memos

Hearings Week

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court begin tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. EDT.  C-SPAN will cover the hearings live, and the Judiciary Committee will apparently be webcasting them online as well (a link has been prepared here).  If recent hearings are any guide, there may not be any questioning of Judge Sotomayor until Tuesday morning.  In January 2006, for instance, the first day of the hearings for Justice Samuel Alito’s nomination, which began at noon, was taken up with the opening statements of the committee members, the “presentation” of Alito by one of his home-state senators and his governor, and the prepared statement of then-Judge Alito himself, after which the committee adjourned at 3:40 p.m. until the next day.

Tomorrow’s witness list consists of New York’s senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Judge Sotomayor.  With a 10:00 a.m. start time, it’s possible that the usual rigmarole of opening statements and “presentation” could be concluded by mid-afternoon and actual questioning could begin.  But I doubt it; look for the real action to begin Tuesday morning, I would guess.  But Judge Sotomayor’s own opening statement should be of some interest.

I will be previewing the hearings tomorrow morning on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” shortly after 6:30 a.m. EDT.  And while I am sure Ed Whelan and others will be keeping Bench Memos hopping with running commentary, I will be mainly blogging this week at the American Principles Project.  I hope you’ll bookmark it (or get the RSS feed) and check in frequently.