Here are the steps as I understand them and then questions to which I have not found answers.
- The President nominates a candidate for the Supreme Court.
- A subset of the Senate (called the Senate Judiciary Committee) interviews the nominee.
- The full Senate votes (majority rules or as @Brythan points out a supermajority in case of filibuster) to confirm the nomination. This does not occur if the Senate Judiciary Committee does not sign off on the nominee.
- If the vote passes then the President appoints the candidate.
- How many senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee (comprising 20 senators) are required to stop the candidate from proceeding to a vote?
- Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch (who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee) have said they do not want to hold hearings for the nominee. What are the criteria by which senators can block a hearing? Or does this just mean that they want the Senate Judiciary Committee to interview the nominee and then not allow the nominee to proceed to the full Senate voting stage?