WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court now seems virtually guaranteed to move on a fast-track in the U.S. Senate, as a top Republican told senators that he opposes a filibuster and expects a final vote on Sotomayor in the next three weeks.
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, is his party's ranking member on Judiciary Committee.
Thursday morning, as the committee entered its third round of questions for Sotomayor, he told the New York judge that he will oppose any effort to filibuster or block her nomination and that he does not expect Republicans to mount one.
He then said, "I look forward to you getting that vote before we recess in August."
The words immediately sparked murmurs in the hearing room. For weeks, Sessions and other Republicans have been vocal in expressing concerns about any vote before the August recess.
The Democratic caucus now has 60 votes in the Senate and could override a filibuster move if they united, but many questioned if Republicans would try to push back the Sotomayor vote regardless.