Senate Democrats yesterday moved to stall the increasingly inevitable confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., despite a good-faith understanding not to do so.
Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said panel Democrats did not want to vote Tuesday, as per a November agreement with Republicans, citing Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.
"I have been told that a number of our members are going to be home for Martin Luther King events this weekend, will not be back on time on Tuesday, and so they will exercise their rights," Mr. Leahy said yesterday.
Mr. Leahy did not mention any "extraordinary" circumstances that under the agreement he reached with Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, would have allowed a vote schedule change. The deal also calls for a full Senate vote on the nominee Friday.
As the five days of hearings concluded yesterday, Mr. Specter announced he would support Judge Alito and said it was time to move ahead with his nomination. "There's no reason to have a delay," he told reporters after the hearing. "I think everybody knows where the committee members are going to vote, and we ought to move ahead and conduct the business of the Congress, the Senate, the people, and get it done."
Ah, yes, Democrats ALWAYS looking for an excuse to delay something. Pathetic really.