The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy, with the committee's approval a certainty and the full Senate's confirmation likely by the end of next week.
Committee sources said yesterday that all eight committee Democrats and all but one of the six committee Republicans are expected to endorse the 51-year-old federal appeals court judge for the high court seat vacated June 26 by Lewis F. Powell Jr.
The only holdout committee vote could be Sen. Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.), who reportedly did not like Kennedy's statements on the scope of a constitutional right to privacy.
Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) said yesterday that he would like to take up the confirmation "as quickly as possible after the committee has reported, before the end of next week" when the Senate goes into recess until Feb. 16.
Senate confirmation by Feb. 5 would ensure that Kennedy will have plenty of time to join in the court's next two-week sitting beginning Feb. 22 and hear arguments the next day on a New York City law banning sex discrimination in certain clubs. Kennedy's longtime membership in all-male clubs was one of the few areas of controversy during his hearings last month.