Alito Confirmation Hearings to Begin Jan. 9

Senate leaders agreed today to begin confirmation hearings on Jan. 9 on the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court and to aim for a final vote on Jan. 20, asserting that there is too much work to finish the process before the winter holidays as the White House wanted.

The decision to wait until the new year ensures that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will remain on the bench when the high court resumes deliberations on Jan. 9 after a recess. Alito was nominated to succeed the retiring O'Connor, but she agreed to stay on until her successor is confirmed.

Details here from the Los Angeles Times.