WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, his office announced Friday, marking the first time the Kentucky Republican has ever opposed a nominee to the high court.
"Judge Sotomayor's record of written statements suggests an alarming lack of respect for the notion of equal justice, and therefore, in my view, an insufficient willingness to abide by the judicial oath," he said in a written statement. "This is particularly important when considering someone for the Supreme Court since, if she were confirmed, there would be no higher court to deter or prevent her from injecting into the law the various disconcerting principles that recur throughout her public statements. For that reason, I will oppose her nomination."
McConnell, who also opposed Sotomayor's 1998 appellate court nomination, has previously voted to confirm every Supreme Court nominee since joining the senate in 1985, including Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Other senators who have announced their intent to vote against Sotomayor are Republicans Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Bob Bennett of Utah. Bennett supported Sotomayor's 1998 appellate court nomination.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday that the GOP will not attempt to block a direct vote on Sotomayor's nomination. Currently, Republicans control 40 seats in the chamber, just shy of the number needed to indefinitely delay a final vote.