OPIOID SERIES:

Graham, Kyl split over Sotomayor confirmation

Two leading Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee split Wednesday over whether to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (R-S.C.), a close ally of 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (R-Ariz.), announced on the Senate floor Wednesday that he would vote for Sotomayor because: "I believe she is well-qualified."
 

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Graham went on to call Sotomayor, who has a 17-year career on the federal bench, the "most qualified nominee to the Supreme Court in decades."
 
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 CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign Trump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush MORE (Maine).
 
At least six other Senate Republicans have announced their opposition: Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo MORE (Ky.) and Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHouse, Senate GOP compete for cash Overnight Tech: Alleged robocall kingpin testifies before Congress | What lawmakers learned | Push for new robocall rules | Facebook changes privacy settings ahead of new data law | Time Warner CEO defends AT&T merger at trial Senators grill alleged robocall kingpin MORE (S.D.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerLet's hold Facebook to the same standards as other players in the industry Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator Miss. Dem touts campaign poll saying he leads GOP candidates in Senate race MORE (Miss.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranChamber of Commerce makes play in Mississippi Senate race for Hyde-Smith Shelby approved as Appropriations panel chairman Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator MORE (Miss.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases Senate approves Trump’s pick for No. 2 at EPA MORE (Okla.).