Sotomayor's Confirmation Hearings to Begin July 13

WASHINGTON - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will convene on July 13.

Leahy said the date presents a "reasonable schedule" that would give members of the committee several more weeks to prepare.

President Barack Obama has urged the Senate to vote on confirming Sotomayor to the high court before it leaves for a congressional recess in August. Republicans have pressed for more time to consider the nomination.

But Leahy said there was "no reason to unduly delay consideration of this well-qualified nominee. She deserves the opportunity to go before the public and speak of her record." The Vermont Democrat said that as a judge, she will only be able to speak publicly about her record when the hearings convene.

Sotomayor is resting a broken ankle, and is having senators come see her in the Capitol instead of hobbling through hallways to visit them.

Sotomayor said Tuesday she feels great one day after stumbling in the airport while rushing for a flight from New York to Washington.

But the appeals court judge, whose right leg is in a cast and is using crutches, plans to camp out all day in the office of the No. 2 Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. His office is on the third floor of the Capitol.

It's an unusual way to conduct the so-called courtesy calls that all high court nominees make to meet the senators who will vote on their confirmations.

Sotomayor is to meet with eight senators Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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