The Federal Bureau of Investigation has completed its background report on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor — a process it goes through for all nominees to the Court — and has delivered the report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, two committee aides told The National Law Journal today.
The two aides said the report had been delivered Tuesday. They declined to discuss its contents or any other details, citing the confidentiality of all FBI reports.
The report is one of two crucial documents that committee lawyers and other staffers will use to begin reviewing Sotomayor's nomination. Any red flags about her personal background are likely included in the report, if they exist. The second crucial document, Sotomayor's written answers to the Judiciary Committee's background questionnaire and any appendices, is expected to be released this week.
The delivery of the FBI report also removes one barrier to holding a confirmation hearing. As recently as Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) cited the lack of a completed FBI report as one reason not to schedule a hearing for the near future.
Still, the Judiciary Committee could pursue further investigation of Sotomayor's background if the FBI report does not answer all the questions that senators and staff members have. "If we decide to move forward with that, then we would do so on a bipartisan basis with the majority," said one GOP aide.