From the Chicago Tribune:
Republicans are set to name conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as their point man on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, signaling that they won't shy away from a protracted fight despite risks of being cast as obstructionist.
Sessions' ascension as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee comes more than 20 years after the panel rejected him for his own federal judgeship during the Reagan administration over concerns that he was hostile toward civil rights and was racially insensitive.
In an oddity that epitomizes the typically political Washington, Sessions would replace Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a moderate who was one of just two Republicans in 1986 to oppose Sessions as a U.S. district court judge. Specter left the GOP last week to become a Democrat, creating the vacancy atop the committee just as Justice David Souter announced his retirement.
The choice of Sessions has excited conservatives who see him as a sharp lawyer with well-established legal views after a career as a prosecutor and Alabama attorney general.
From Crapaud: The choice of Sessions has excited