The first vote on Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could come as soon as senators return from their weeklong July 4 holiday.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled a committee vote for Tuesday, July 13, according to a notice sent to reporters this afternoon. That would be the earliest possible date, because most senators are out of Washington for the week of July 5 and committees rarely meet on Mondays.
Under the committee’s rules, any member could request a delay of the vote by one meeting or by one week, whichever would be longer. A vote by the committee would send Kagan’s nomination to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.
With 12 Democrats and seven Republicans, the committee is likely to endorse Kagan’s confirmation by a comfortable margin.
The plan is similar to the one Leahy used last year for Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation process. Her hearing ended July 16, 2009, and the committee voted on her nomination 12 days later. The schedule for Kagan would again leave senators 12 days before the committee vote.
Updated at 3:35 p.m.