Collins Adds Another GOP Vote for Sotomayor
By Ben Pershing
Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Tuesday that she will support Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth Republican to line up behind President Obama's pick.
"Judge Sotomayor has impressive legal experience, has excelled throughout her life, and is a tremendously accomplished person," Collins said in a statement, adding that while she knows she won't agree with all of Sotomayor's decisions on the court, " I believe she will serve our country honorably and well on the Supreme Court."
With Sotomayor's confirmation all but assured, the administration is hoping to run up the score by attracting as many Republican votes as possible. Collins' decision was somewhat expected, given that she hails from the GOP's moderate wing and because fellow Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) is already backing Sotomayor. GOP Sens. Richard Lugar (Ind.) and Mel Martinez (Fla.) have also signaled their support for the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republican Policy Chairman John Thune (S.D.) plan to oppose her.
None of the seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee has said how they plan to vote on the nominee. The panel is scheduled to vote on her nomination Tuesday, but Republicans plan to use their ability to postpone the roll call by a week. A vote by the full Senate is expected before the chamber goes into recess Aug. 7.
UPDATE 11:56 AM ET: The Judiciary Committee just announced an "executive business meeting" for next Tuesday, July 28th, at 10 a.m. That's when the panel will vote on Sotomayor.
UPDATE 12:31 PM ET: Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker (R) just announced he would oppose Sotomayor, primarily because of her comments on the Second Amendment. "I have great respect for Judge Sotomayor's life story and professional accomplishments," Wicker said in a statement. "However, this appreciation does not change or hide the flaws in her record and judicial philosophy."
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