Retiring GOP Senators Free to Vote for Sotomayor

By Caitlin Taylor

Aug 6, 2009 1:33pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio said this afternoon that he’ll support Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He’s retiring at the end of the year so he really doesn’t care about an NRA rating. And maybe that has something to do with it. Voinovich is the ninth Republican to say he’ll support Sotomayor – more than enough to guarantee her confirmation later today. “Based on my review of her record, and using these factors, I have determined that Judge Sotomayor meets the criteria to become a Justice on the Supreme Court,” he said. He also took the opportunity to chastise the decision of then-Senator Obama to vote against the nominations of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. “If I applied President Obama’s standard, I would not be voting for Judge Sotomayor, his nominee. The President was wrong. His standard makes the whole nominations process an exercise in partisan politics. We need less politics in the judicial selection process and the Judiciary in general, not more,” Voinovich said. Obama said before his votes on Roberts and Alito that the men lacked empathy – and that requirement of now-President Obama has played a large role in the nomination of Sotomayor. Voinovich joins other retiring Senators Mel Martinez of Florida, Kit Bond of Missouri and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire in supporting Sotomayor. Other “aye” Republicans, so far, are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Richard Lugar of Indiana. We’ll have to wait until this afternoon for the final tally and to see if there is perfect attendance, but if 59 Democrats who are able to vote and 9 Republicans support her, that would give Sotomayor 68 “ayes”. –Z. Byron Wolf

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