Reid Refutes Story on Alito Vote Delay

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) is challenging an Associated Press report that says Democrats will attempt to slow Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito’s confirmation by asking for a one-week postponement on a Judiciary Committee vote.

“News reports that Senator Reid told Senator Frist that Democrats would delay the committee vote on Judge Alito are inaccurate,” said Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman. “No decision has been made regarding a Senate Judiciary Committee rule that permits any committee member to request a one-week postponement of a committee vote.”

Earlier Thursday, the AP also reported that Democrats are keeping so quiet about an Alito filibuster that it appears they are inclined to take such a high-stakes battle to the floor of the Senate.

As Amanda Carpenter reported yesterday, Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) expressed little desire to even lead the fight against Alito in committee.

UPDATE: Regarding the news of an Alito vote delay, Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) issued the following statement:

“There have been reports that the Committee vote will de delayed one week.  This would contradict the understanding those of us on the Committee came to in December when we agreed to demands by Democrats to delay the hearings until this month so that they would have more than adequate time to examine his record.  They have now had far more time to examine his record than the Committee had to examine the records of Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer.
“I hope the reports are inaccurate.  The last time a member of the Committee demanded to hold over the vote on a Supreme Court nominee was 1971.  The only purpose the delay would serve would be to give those on the Committee who are already intending to vote against Judge Alito more time to find a justification for their negative vote.  If the reports are true, it would represent a further coarsening of the judicial confirmation process—not to mention another partisan, obstructionist tactic by a minority of Senators who are frustrated that their views do not prevail at the ballot box.”