Judge Sonia Sotomayor has taken one big step towards her confirmation to the Supreme Court: She's turned in her homework.
Sotomayor's answers to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire were delivered to the committee on Thursday afternoon. There's a lot of paper involved -- several boxes of material -- and the principal document clocks in at 173 pages, while the appendix is another 130.
Still, Sotomayor managed to compile all that pretty quickly, and the Obama team is boasting of her speed. In a blog post, Greg Craig, the White House Counsel, wrote, "Sotomayor has completed her questionnaire faster than any Supreme Court nominee in recent history -- in just 9 days. For historical context, it took Chief Justice Roberts 13 days, Justice Ginsburg 15 days and Justice Alito 30 days from the time they were designated to the time they completed their questionnaires."
The White House is clearly hoping that this will lead Republicans to drop their warnings about the process moving too quickly, and the Senate not having enough time to properly vet Sotomayor. In the same blog post, Craig wrote, '"With her record of 17 years on the bench, this historically fast completion of the exhaustive questions is no small feat that will hopefully lead to her swift consideration by the Senate and enable her to be a member of the Supreme Court by the time they begin selecting cases in September."
The full questionnaire is available for download here; more documents will be made available on the committee's Web site. There's not much of immediate interest in the questionnaire -- it's largely a list of various jobs Sotomayor has held, places she's spoken and decisions in which she's taken part. But what it will do is provide fodder for opposition researchers eager to find some dirt to slow or stop the confirmation process.