WASHINGTON – A tentative schedule for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' confirmation hearings, which begin this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Monday: The committee convenes at noon EDT. Senators give their opening statements of 10 minutes each. Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., as well as Sen. John Warner, R-Va., each spend up to five minutes introducing Roberts. Roberts gives his opening statement.
Tuesday: The committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Senators begin questioning Roberts in rounds of 30 minutes each.
Wednesday: The committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Senators begin questioning Roberts in a second round of 20 minutes each. Additional rounds for questions may be made available at senators' request. At the end of questioning, the committee meets in closed session to discuss Roberts' background report from the FBI.
Thursday: The committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. EDT. It is expected to begin hearing from other witnesses, including the American Bar Association on its "well qualified" rating of Roberts, and 30 others -- 15 invited by Republicans and 15 invited by Democrats.
Sept. 20: The earlier date that the committee chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., plans to call for a vote. Other options being considered include Sept. 22 or Sept. 26.
Sept. 26: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., says this is the latest date he expects to start final debate on Roberts' nomination in the full Senate, with a final vote no later than Sept. 30.
Oct. 3: The Supreme Court begins its new term.