WASHINGTON (CN) – The committee vote on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to sit on the Supreme Court was delayed a week despite original expectations of a vote Tuesday, in what has been interpreted as a signal to the conservative base of the Republican Party.
“The Republicans wish to put over the nomination of Judge Sotomayor. They have the right, but we will come back in on Tuesday of next week,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat added, “We all know that Sotomayor will be confirmed.”
He expressed hope there would be no delay once the vote is put to the floor. Alabama Republican Ranking Member Jeff Sessions has said he would not support any efforts, like a filibuster, to delay that vote.
When asked in an interview what the Republicans have to gain from delaying the count, Russell Wheeler from the Brookings Institute replied that they “send a signal to their base to keep on raising money off this nomination,” and added that something could potentially come up to reduce the votes for Sotomayor’s confirmation.
Nonetheless, Wheeler said Republicans won’t delay further because “beyond a week looks like pointless vindictiveness.”
If confirmed, Sotomayor will have just a few weeks to move to Washington and prepare to hear a case on September 9, much earlier than usual. The Supreme Court usually meets in October.