[JURIST] Republican members of the Senate Judiciary committee [official website] and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official profile] have urged committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official profile] to begin confirmation hearings on US Supreme Court nominee John Roberts during Congress' August recess, rather than after September 5 when the body reconvenes. The group has voiced concerns about whether Roberts would be confirmed in time [JURIST report] for the beginning of the Court's term on October 3. Specter said last week that he preferred to start in September, adding "we have a substantial period of time", and continued to be associated with that position in press reports Tuesday [JURIST reprt]. Democrats maintain they need plenty of time to question Roberts on his views and are not concerned about an October 3 confirmation date because Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has indicated she will remain on the court until her successor is confirmed. The Hill has more.