Kitty Felde

Democrats hint at marathon session this summer over judicial nominees

The August recess could be very late this year for members of the US Senate. Friday, the Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This summer, it takes up whomever is nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Stevens. And in between, there's a boatload of other judicial nominations that have been languishing.

Today, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and New York Senator Chuck Schumer - both Democrats - bemoaned GOP footdragging on those nominations. And Schumer hinted that the Senate might just have to stay in session all summer to get it all done.

The Senate already has put in plenty of holiday time - health care votes on Christmas Eve and Palm Sunday. Democrats may see the threat of votes during the August recess as the only way to push through that backlog of judicial nominees.

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