Senate Leaders Warn of Sotomayor Crush

Senate staffers are warned that the upcoming hearings for Sotomayor are going to cause a mess.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Sotomayor is coming; Sotomayor is coming. That's the warning message to senators and staffers in advance of next week's start of the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor. In a message to Senate offices and in posters on the Senate side, the sergeant at arms and Capitol Police are telling officials to expect a crush of crowds and unusual security during the two weeks of hearings.

But for the "historic week," the authorities say that they will take efforts to make it easy for lawmakers and their staffers to get to work. Below is the message sent to Senate offices this week:

Expect Increased Number of Visitors During the Scheduled Hearings for Judge Sonia M. Sotomayor

During the week of July 13-17, 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings for Judge Sonia M. Sotomayor regarding her nomination to the United States Supreme Court. We anticipate a marked increase in the number of visitors to the Senate Office Buildings during this time. The following information is provided in order to help Members and Senate staff avoid being delayed in entering or exiting Senate Office Buildings:

  • Public distribution of tickets to the hearings will begin at approximately 8:00 a.m. each morning. Senate Judiciary Committee staff will conduct the distribution from a small tent located in the Upper D Street Park near First and C Streets, NE. For more information about the hearings and availability of tickets, please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee at 4-7703.
  • Members of the public who are issued an admittance ticket for the hearings will receive security screening at the C Street door of the Hart building beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, July 13, 2009. For the remainder of the week, we anticipate admittance to the hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. These groups will be processed in this manner throughout the day, as long as the hearings remain open to the public.
  • Members of the public who are issued an admittance ticket for the hearings and require an accessible entrance will be processed through the Second Street door of the Hart building.
  • All doors of all Senate Office Buildings will be open for normal security processing of Members, staff, and visitors during this time.

The U.S. Capitol Police will assign additional officers at these doors during hearing times, to facilitate member and staff arrival.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation during this historic week.

Please direct any questions or concerns to the Sergeant at Arms' Law Enforcement and Security Operations at 4-2525.

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