Leading Senate Democrat says Alito filibuster unlikely

[JURIST] US Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito [official profile] is not likely to be filibustered by Senate Democrats, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) [website], a senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] said Sunday. Biden said a decision on whether to oppose Alito's nomination would not be made until more legislators met and had a chance to speak with Alito, but that an up or down vote was likely. Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [website] also said Sunday, "I have not seen any significant concern that might lead to filibuster, but [Democrats are] certainly reserving all of their options, and I think that's appropriate." A simple Senate majority is needed to ensure Alito's confirmation, but 60 votes are required to break a filibuster. Alito's confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin on January 9 [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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