Date: January 11, 2006
SPECTER: We'll proceed now to the last three senators who have not had a second round of 20 minutes, Senator Durbin, Senator Brownback and Senator Coburn.
As I mentioned before, I've had requests from two senators for a third round. Senator Leahy advises that there are others. And I'd like the specification.
Senator Biden is prepared to proceed, has requested 20 minutes, and is prepared to proceed. Senator Feinstein has requested 10 minutes, and she has a doctor's appointment, so she won't be able to be here this evening. And we will accommodate her on that.
But I would like to know who else wants time so we can plan what we're going to do for the balance of the evening and hereafter. I've had requests on my side of the aisle as to whether we're having a Friday session, and I've had a request as to whether we're having a Saturday session. And I told both of those requesters to stand by.
And I do piece (ph) work, so I'm here for the duration.
LEAHY: Mr. Chairman, I've been told that each one of the people on this side want another round. I know I want to look at the transcript this evening, and I will have a few more questions.
Obviously you can do what you want. I mean, Judge Alito has shown he has the stamina of Hercules. I'm not sure that all the rest of us do. Senator Coats is hanging in there. But he's able to bail out now and then.
I would suggest you finish with the senators who are here tonight. That would get us out of here around 7 or a little later. Come back in the morning. This is very similar to what we did with Chief Justice Roberts. Come back in the morning. I have a feeling that whatever rounds it takes, we could probably wrap it up in relatively expeditious order, but then we wouldn't be looking like we're trying to ram this through. It is a lifetime appointment, after all. We'd get it done. I think most of the outside witnesses have been told that they were going to testify on Friday anyway, in all likelihood.
I mean, that's what I suggest.
SPECTER: That's not true. There are people who can't be here on Friday among the outside witnesses who are looking at Thursday.
LEAHY: Well, they may -- who knows -- we'll probably wrapped up in time that we can get him in here some time Thursday.
SPECTER: Well, Senator Leahy...
LEAHY: It's up to you.
SPECTER: The only way we'll know what's going to happen -- I want to know who wants more time, so I can see what's going to go on tomorrow, if we're going to go beyond Senator Feinstein tomorrow.
We had this exact same situation with Chief Justice Roberts. And we worked on into Wednesday evening and then we got an understanding as to what we're going to do on Thursday.
LEAHY: Well, we're into Wednesday evening already. So, I mean, we've done...
SPECTER: Why don't we proceed with our three witnesses so as not to spend any more time and, if I could have the advice from you, Senator Leahy, and from Senator Kennedy, who are here, Senator Durbin has 20 minutes. He probably has more time than he needs.
LEAHY: I've yet to find a situation in this committee, Mr. Chairman, that you and I haven't been able to work things out because you have always been eminently fair.
SPECTER: OK, well, to put all the cards up on the table, the only compelling force, if there is such a thing as a compelling force with senators, is to figure out how to avoid working this evening by telling me what you want to do tomorrow. That's a fairly simple formula.
LEAHY: Who is the leader, Mr. Chairman, who once said moving -- moving the Senate around is like transporting bullfrogs in a wheelbarrow.
SPECTER: Senator Baker, who is the author of the "Herding Cats."