Leahy said the timeline closely reflects the confirmation schedules of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whose confirmation hearings began 48 and 49 days after nomination, respectively. Kagan’s hearing is schedule for 49 days after nomination.
“There is no reason to unduly delay consideration of this nomination,” Leahy said. “Justice Stevens announced on April 9 that he would be leaving the Court. He noted that ‘it would be in the best interests of the Court to have [his] successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court’s next Term,’ and I wholeheartedly agree with Justice Stevens. That is in the best interests of the Court, and the country.”
“At this time, it remains to be seen whether the schedule set by the Chairman will be adequate to allow us to meet our important constitutional responsibility to thoroughly review Ms. Kagan’s record on behalf of the American people and to hold respectful and substantive hearings that reflect well on both our Committee and the entire Senate,” Sessions said in a statement. “Additionally, as I told Chairman Leahy, developments may occur during the course of such a review that simply require additional time-such as issues relating to document production or the need for more information connected with substantive controversies. If that is the case, we would be obligated to demand additional time.”