GOP Sen. Collins to support Sotomayor for court

Posted July 21, 2009, at 9:37 a.m.

WASHINGTON — An aide to Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Collins will vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Spokesman Ian Swanberg says Collins is preparing a statement detailing her support for President Barack Obama’s first high court nominee. Sotomayor is in line to become the first Hispanic and third woman justice.

Collins becomes the fourth Republican to say publicly she’ll break with her party’s conservative leaders to support Sotomayor. The federal appeals court judge is expected to win confirmation easily in a Senate vote early next month.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on Sotomayor’s nomination for later Tuesday, but panel Republicans are expected to block the action and force a one-week delay.