Republican Sen. Collins will back Sotomayor

One of the GOP's moderates says she'll support the Supreme Court nominee

Published July 21, 2009 5:25PM (EDT)

Since Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, didn't have a complete meltdown during her confirmation hearings, more and more Republicans are now hopping on her bandwagon as it pulls out of the station. Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, became the fourth Senate Republican to announce that she will vote to confirm Sotomayor.

In a statement, Collins said, "I know that I will not agree with every decision Justice Sotomayor reaches on the Court, just as I disagree with some of her previous decisions. However ... I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor understands the proper rule of a judge and is committed to applying the law impartially without bias or favoritism."

On Friday, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said he would support Sotomayor. Maine's other senator, Olympia Snowe, has also said Sotomayor has her vote, as has Florida Sen. Mel Martinez.

Sotomayor almost certainly won't need any Republican votes, so her confirmation seems even more inevitable now than it did during last week's hearings. But that's not going to stop Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, from drawing out the preocess. After making some memorable comments during the hearings, on Tuesday Sessions exercised his right to delay the panel's vote on Sotomayor by a week. Committee Chair Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., says the vote will now take place on July 28th; the full Senate will take it up after that.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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