May 26

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When Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties in April 2008, Sen. Jeff Sessions became the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, bringing a more conservative voice to the hearings vetting President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees.

May 26

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The process of nominating and confirming Supreme Court justices is one of the cornerstones of the Constitution's separation of powers. The nomination process involves a unique interplay of legal, political and personal considerations.