Senate GOP’s Reaction To Sotomayor Hearings: We’ll Have To Review 76 Cases Per Day

The Senate Republican Communications Center has put out a new objection to the scheduled hearings for Sonia Sotomayor: That this schedule represents a double standard compared to the time it took for John Roberts’ hearings to begin, because it means Republicans will have to review 76 of her cases per day, beginning from the day when the nomination was announced, to be ready on the day the hearings are supposed to begin.

The key here is that Sotomayor has spent a lot longer on the bench than Roberts did. Roberts had a total of 327 cases, to be reviewed in 55 days before his hearings — about six per day. Sotomayor has 3,625 cases, to be reviewed in 48 days, working out to a ratio of about 76.

Now hold on a second, the math can get even trickier from here.I did some number-crunching, and it turns out that in order to get to the same per-case ratio as Roberts, then the hearings would have to start 610 days after the initial nomination — or a year and half from the current scheduled date. If we waited for September, which Republicans have called for, that would bring the ratio down to about 34 cases reviewed per day.

So how long do Republicans want?

“I think a lot of people on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged that Senate Republicans have approached this process in a very fair way,” said Senate Republican Communications Center spokesman John Ashbrook, in a phone call with TPM. “And from the beginning we’ve been asking for one thing really, and that’s an opportunity to review the record in a thorough way. And I think a lot of Democrats have agreed with us.”

I asked again what ratio they’d be looking for. “A thorough review is what we’re looking for,” Ashbrook explained. “Putting a number on it is not as important as opportunity to throughly review the record.”