FACTBOX: US Supreme Court confirmation in about 100 days

May 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Since 1981, it has taken an average of
about 100 days from the time a U.S. Supreme Court justice
announces his or her retirement until the Senate confirms a
replacement, according to the chamber’s Judiciary Committee.

On Monday, President Barack Obama will nominate Solicitor
General Elena Kagan as successor to Justice John Paul Stevens,
sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Stevens, the
court’s leading liberal, announced his retirement on April 9.

Here is a look at what Kagan faces in the drive to be sworn
in:

* In coming days, Kagan will likely have courtesy visits
with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican
leader Mitch McConnell. She will also visit with the 12
Democrats and seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who
will hold the confirmation hearing.

* The 400,000-member American Bar Association, the world’s
largest voluntary professional association, will conduct its
own review of the nominee. The ABA will deem Kagan “well
qualified,” “qualified” or “unqualified.” While the rating will
not ensure confirmation or rejection, it is certain to be a
factor in Senate consideration.

* The Judiciary Committee will submit a questionnaire to
Kagan. Questions will range from age, place of birth and
education to net worth, copies of the nominee’s public writings
and speeches, potential conflicts of interest and if anyone at
the White House asked how she might rule. In 2005, the panel
complained that nominee Harriet Miers had inadequately filled
out her questionnaire. She withdrew from consideration.

* Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy will
announce a date for the start of his panel’s confirmation
hearing. It will likely last about a week.

On the first day, each committee member will be invited to
make an opening statement, followed by a statement by the
nominee. Questioning will begin the next day and is certain to
touch on such volatile issues as gun control and abortion
rights. At the close of the hearing, committee members may
submit any remaining questions to the nominee in writing.

* Once all questions are answered, the committee will send
the nomination to the full 100-member Senate with a “favorable”
or “unfavorable” recommendation.

* Reid, the Senate majority leader, will schedule a debate
by his chamber, followed by a vote. Republicans could try to
mount a procedural roadblock, but they say that is unlikely.
Sixty votes would be needed to clear a possible Republican
roadblock. Democrats control 59 of the Senate’s 100 seats.

* Once confirmed, Kagan would be sworn in, likely at the
White House. Chief Justice John Roberts would likely administer
the oath. But another justice could do it.
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(Editing by Peter Cooney)

FACTBOX: US Supreme Court confirmation in about 100 days