Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) came to the defense of Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorSenate panel votes to make women register for draft No reason to pack the court Supreme Court ruling opens door to more campaign finance challenges MORE today, saying he doesn't hold her "wise Latina" remarks against her. In fact, he supports them.

"For someone who is of Latin background, personally, I understand what she is trying to say," Martinez said after meeting with Sotomayor today. "Which is, the richness of her experience forms who she is. It forms who I am."

I believe Martinez is the first Republican senator to actively defend Sotomayor. This could be one of those symbolic turning points.

Martinez also said he expects Sotomayor to be confirmed "with pretty good numbers."