Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) came to the defense of Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorRush Limbaugh medal an insult to Latinos, immigrants Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools Justice Roberts neglects his own role in tilting American democracy 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."