July 17, 2009
Although some Republican conservatives are lining up against Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court nominee is winning pledges of support from centrist GOP senators.
Three of them announced today they're going to vote for Sotomayor: Richard Lugar, Olympia Snowe and Mel Martinez, who is the Senate's only Hispanic Republican.
The appeals court judge had already been seen as well on her way to confirmation to the high court, following a smooth confirmation hearing. But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will be among the 'no' votes. He's questioning the nominee's ability to separate her sympathies from her decisions.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, says Sotomayor came across as "dramatically more moderate" in the hearings than she had before. Gingrich created a stir shortly after Sotomayor was nominated by suggesting a remark she had made about "wise" Latinas was racist. He says it will be four or five years before it's known whether she won confirmation by, in his words, "fundamentally misleading the Senate."