Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. He is the founder of SCOTUSblog. 

The White House has just announced Sonia Sotomayor as its Supreme Court nominee. The Senate Judiciary Committee will likely hold hearings in the third week of July, permitting written committee questions the following week and a floor vote before Congress leaves for its summer recess on the weekend of August 8. Absent the discovery of an ethical transgression, the Democratic majority on the Senate guarantees confirmation, so the new Justice will take her seat when the Court opens its 2009 Term on October 5.

Well before the hearings and votes, the immediate struggle will be to define both the nominee and the president (in light of his selection). 

Here, I discuss the lines of attack.

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