NPR logo Lamar Alexander: The 6th Republican Senator To Back Sotomayor

Lamar Alexander: The 6th Republican Senator To Back Sotomayor

In a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court — becoming the sixth Republican to do so.

Alexander acknowledged differences he had with Sotomayor over gun rights and the Second Amendment. But he praised her "experience, temperament, character and intellect."

Alexander, who is not up until 2014, is the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

In addition to Alexander, the other Republicans who have signaled they will vote to confirm Sotomayor are Snowe & Collins of Maine, Lugar of Indiana, Martinez of Florida and Graham of South Carolina.

The Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week, perhaps Thursday.