Byrd Back to Vote for Sotomayor

Posted August 6, 2009 at 12:17pm

Updated: 2:03 p.m.

Ailing Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) will return to the Capitol on Thursday to cast a vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday.

Byrd, 91 and the President Pro Tem, last appeared in the Capitol on July 21 when he cast a vote on the Defense authorization bill.

“Sen. Byrd has never missed a vote on a nomination for a Supreme Court justice during his time in the Senate and will not break that tradition today,— spokesman Jesse Jacobs said in a statement.

Byrd was released June 30 from the hospital after a six-week stay. He was initially admitted for a minor infection but later developed a staph infection.

Reid also told reporters Thursday that he hoped both Byrd and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is battling brain cancer, will be healthy enough to return to work in September. Kennedy isn’t expected to return Thursday to vote on Sotomayor’s confirmation, set to occur at 3 p.m.

“We all know the health of Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Byrd is a concern,— Reid said.