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GOP wants 'ample time'

From NBC's Ken Strickland
While it's unclear exactly when Sonia Sotomayor will have her Senate confirmation hearing, Senate Republicans are already sending the message that they will not be rushed through the process, opening the the possibility that she may not confirmed before the Supreme Court opens in October. 

In his written statement today, Republican Judiciary Committee member Jon Kyl stressed the need for Republicans to have plenty of time to review Sotomayor's record. Kyl cited examples from past Supreme Court confirmations under a Republican-controlled Senate where the then-Democratic minority was afforded "ample time" to review the nominee.

He says the entire process for each of the two most recent nominee took between two and three months to complete.

"I would expect that Senate Democrats will afford the minority the same courtesy as we move forward with this process," said Kyl, who is also the No. 2 Republican in Senate leadership.

Referencing the confirmation of nominee John Roberts in 2005, Kyl said, "Senate Republicans afforded the minority ample time to adequately examine his background and qualifications before he received a confirmation vote 73 days later."

Regarding the process for Samuel Alito later that year, "The minority was afforded 93 days before he received a confirmation vote on January 31, 2006."

The Alito scenario would put the final confirmation some time in late August, but the Senate traditionally takes the bulk of that month off for its summer recess.