By Alexander Bolton - 07/22/09 01:09 PM EDT
Two leading Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee split Wednesday over whether to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), announced on the Senate floor Wednesday that he would vote for Sotomayor because: "I believe she is well-qualified."
Graham also said he believes the Senate owes deference to the president when it comes to the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee.
"I do believe that elections have consequences," he said.
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), however, announced his opposition to Sotomayor because of lingering concerns about whether she will set aside personal biases and prejudices on the high court.
"I've not been persuaded that Judge Sotomayor is absolutely committed to setting aside her biases and impartially deciding cases based upon the rule of law, and I cannot ignore her unwillingness to answer senators' questions straightforwardly," Kyl said on the Senate floor.
At least four other Senate Republicans have said they intend to vote for Sotomayor: Sens. Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Mel Martinez (Fla.) and Susan Collins (Maine).
At least six other Senate Republicans have announced their opposition: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Thad Cochran (Miss.) and James Inhofe (Okla.).