NEW YORK — As the Senate is nearing its end of its regular session, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding its last public hearing on the nomination of Justice Clarence Thomas to be the next Supreme Court justice.
The hearing will begin at 9 a.m.
The panel’s hearing is open to the public.
Thomas has been confirmed twice, once by a bipartisan vote in June and again in January, but has been blocked from getting a hearing by Republican filibusters.
If confirmed, he would replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans have filibustered the nomination for years.
Thomas, who has a long and storied record of civil rights and voting rights advocacy, was confirmed twice before the Republican-controlled Senate in 2006 and again last year by a 50-50 vote.
He has argued against voting rights laws, voting rights and affirmative action.
He was one of the three Supreme Court justices who struck down a Texas law that required voters to show ID to cast ballots.
The panel has also been hearing confirmation hearings for judges across the country, including for judges in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Wyoming.
The committee has scheduled hearings on five nominees this year, and the full Senate is expected to vote on a nominee on Tuesday, when the Republican National Committee’s national convention kicks off in Philadelphia.
Thomas is not the only judicial nominee on the chopping block.
The Senate Judiciary panel has already heard from former President Barack Obama’s nominee to be deputy attorney general.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Sheldon WhiteHouseGOP pushes back on Kavanaugh nomination, calls for FBI investigation Republican lawmakers to hold hearings on Kavanaugh at RNC, RNC meeting Democratic senators call for FBI probe on Trump-Russia ties MORE (D-R.I.) has also heard from one of President Trump’s potential Supreme Court picks, Judge Merrick Garland.
The Supreme Court vacancy has divided the Senate, with many senators wanting to see an outside investigation into the firing of Comey, as well as Trump’s decision to seek a new Supreme Court term instead of filling the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Holmes.
Republicans are still holding a hearing on Garland, but they say there are a number of other potential nominees that they believe could be confirmed without further delay.
The Judiciary Committee voted in April to hold a hearing into Comey, and it has held several hearings on Garland.
The Senate Judiciary committee has been hearing from a variety of people who are under consideration for the job of acting attorney general, including the current U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, Robert Capers Robert George CapersThe Senate holds hearing on judicial filibuster with Clarence Thomas Judiciary Committee approves nomination for U.C. Berkeley’s Merrick B. Garland.
Democrats have filibusters on Garland and the others, but the White House has said that they could be resolved without a filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP leaders delay Kavanaugh confirmation for one-week FBI investigation Republicans shift course after outside counsel falters Kavanaugh, Ford call for DOJ to investigate Capitol police amid Kavanaugh furor MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called on Democrats to bring a “major resolution” to the nomination process, adding that he would support the Democrats’ effort to hold the confirmation hearings, but added that “we don’t have to have this filibuster.”
The Judiciary committee is still holding hearings on several other potential Supreme Courts nominees, including those from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Tennessee.
The White House announced Tuesday that it would delay the confirmation of Garland until the end of the week.
Sen. Jeff Flake Jeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP senators introduce resolution calling for DOJ investigation of potential coordination between Trump campaign and Russia McConnell says GOP won’t have vote on Kavanaugh confirmation until next week Flake calls on DOJ to appoint independent counsel in Kavanaugh matter Flake says Democrats need to find ‘new ways to solve the problems’ on Kavanaugh MORE (Ariz.), who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, told The Hill on Tuesday that Garland was the most likely nominee to get confirmed without a “rigged process.”
The panel is scheduled to hear the nomination on Monday.