Senate’s Summer Session Gets Shorter: GOP Plans To Delay Kagan Vote

Jay Mallin

Here we go. Despite the precious little time left for Congress to get anything done, Republicans tomorrow will ask for the committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to be delayed for an additional week.

Hotline on Call reported this afternoon that Republican aides plan to ask for the delay tomorrow when the Judiciary Committee arrives for the planned vote on Kagan. GOP aides haven’t yet confirmed this for TPM, but Sen. Jon Kyl may have tipped his hand yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.”Kyl (R-AZ) was asked yesterday how he’ll vote on Kagan’s nomination. He told host Chris Wallace “I’ll let you know a week from Tuesday when we have the markup or executive session in the judiciary Committee.” At first it sounded like he misspoke, but it’s looking like he knew exactly what he was talking about. Republicans have complained throughout the process, as they have through other confirmation processes, that they had little time to review Kagan’s files before her confirmation hearing. On Friday, the committee posted the nominee’s written responses for the record — which GOP aides then told Hotline that they need more time to review.

A Democratic aide on the Judiciary Committee noted that the Republicans asked for the same delay last year when considering Sonia Sotomayor. The Democrats did not ask for delays during recent nominations, the aide said. Democrats have often accused the GOP of trying to drag their feet for political reasons.

The panel’s rules allow fora single one-week delay. Assuming ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) does ask for the delay tomorrow, the confirmation vote would be held July 20. Kagan’s nomination would then be considered on the Senate floor at some point before the summer recess begins Aug. 9.