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Lugar Becomes First Republican To Announce Vote For Sotomayor

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Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court seemed relatively pre-ordained following four days of somewhat news-less testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now, it seems, the one question remaining will be how many Republican senators will offer their support.

On Friday morning, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) became the first, releasing a statement of support for President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

"I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate," said Lugar. "Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a 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. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."

Lugar does not sit on the Judiciary Committee, so his vote will only matter once Sotomayor's nomination is voted out of that committee. That, however, should not be much of a hurdle for the Court nominee as Democrats hold a large majority there, and some Republicans on the committee -- namely Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- have indicated that they will support Sotomayor.

UPDATE: Two more Republican Senators have said they will support Sotomayor: Sen. Mel Martinez, R-FL, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine,

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