Sotomayor Expected to Clear on 68-31 Vote
Updated: 2:46 p.m.
With the votes of Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) now in hand, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday afternoon will easily gain confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice.
All told, Sotomayor should be confirmed on a 68-to-31 vote, with only Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) not voting because of illness. The remaining 58 Democrats will vote in favor, along with nine Republicans: Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Mel Martinez (Fla), Kit Bond (Mo.), George Voinovich (Ohio), Dick Lugar (Ind.) and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine.
Senators are slated to begin the vote at 3 p.m. Thursday, making Sotomayor the first Latina to serve on the high court and the third female. She currently serves on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.