July 28, 2009 – 12:24 p.m.
By Keith Perine and Seth Stern, CQ Staff
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on a nearly party-line vote Tuesday, teeing up a Senate confirmation vote next week.
The committee voted 13-6 to approve the nomination in the same cavernous hearing room in the Hart Building in which Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing took place two weeks ago. South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham joined all 12 Democrats on the panel in voting for Sotomayor.
“It is with enthusiasm and hope that I am going to vote in favor of this historic nomination,” committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy , D-Vt., said before the vote.
If confirmed as expected, Sotomayor will be the third woman and first Hispanic to serve on the high court. She will succeed retired Justice David H. Souter , a member of the narrowly divided court’s liberal bloc.
But Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the committee, said, “Based on her record as a judge and her statements, I am not able to support this nomination.” Sessions said he doesn’t believe Sotomayor can put aside her “personal opinions and biases” on the bench. Continue - LINK