On a conference call organized by the right-wing Judicial Confirmation Network, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told a group of conservative activists that he needed their help to prevent Judge Sotomayor from being confirmed to the Supreme Court in a timely manner. “We need you involved in this process,” Thune told the call’s listeners, because Senate Democrats “are going to jam through this lifetime appointment rather than provide a full and fair review of her record.”
But Thune sang a different tune when President Bush was in office. Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) modeled Sotomayor’s 72-day confirmation schedule after the exact same 72-day schedule that was used to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts. Back then, Thune thought this schedule was more than adequate for him to make up his mind:
“Today marks the beginning of a historic and revered process. As we pay tribute to the legacy of former Chief Justice Rehnquist, we see many of the qualities that marked his tenure of excellence mirrored in Judge Roberts,” Thune said. “Judge Roberts brings with him a brilliant legal mind and a profound respect for the Constitution and the Court.
“I urge Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to put politics aside and allow a fair and efficient confirmation process to work. I look forward to hearing from Judge Roberts and have full confidence his experience and character will carry him swiftly through these important hearings.”
Perhaps Thune is simply having trouble understanding how Sotomayor’s confirmation schedule compares to Roberts’. To help explain this difficult concept to Sen. Thune, ThinkProgress has prepared this helpful chart: