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Voinovich Is Latest Retiring GOP Senator to Support Sotomayor

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) announced Thursday that he would vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, making him the latest retiring Republican to announce his support.Voinovich, who has announced that he will not run for re-election next year, has become increasingly critical of his party’s conservative wing, arguing that the GOP has become overrun by combative southerners and fiercely partisan social conservatives. Voinovich is the latest in a string of retiring GOP Senators who are backing Sotomayor, including Sens. Judd Gregg (N.H.) and Kit Bond (Mo.), both of whom announced their support Wednesday.“The role of the Senate in the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice is to advise and consent,— Voinovich said in a Senate floor speech.“On balance I believe she is fit to sit on our nation’s highest court,— he said.Overall, Voinovich is the ninth Republican to back Sotomayor, joining Gregg, Bond, Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mel Martinez (Fla.) and Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.The Senate will vote on the nomination at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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