Lugar, Specter to vote for Sotomayor

July 17, 2009 at 1:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 17 (UPI) -- Two senators, one a Republican, announced Friday they would vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., became the first Republican to say he would vote in favor of Sotomayor's nomination to the nation's highest court.

Pennsylvania's Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sotomayor "displayed intellect, restraint and judicial demeanor" during her testimony before the committee, which wrapped up its confirmation hearings Thursday.

In a statement posted on his Web site, Lugar praised Sotomayor's "judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing."

"Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service. She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers," Lugar said. "I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."

Specter, who once led the Judiciary Committee, said in his statement Sotomayor has "an outstanding record ... as a prosecutor and as a commercial lawyer plus 17 distinguished years as a federal judge."

"As the third woman and the first Hispanic, she will add needed diversity to the Supreme Court," Specter said. "I intend to vote for her and urge my colleagues to do the same."

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