(CNN) - Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said Friday he will vote against Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, the first time the Utah Republican has voted against a high court nominee in his three decades as a member of Senate Judiciary Committee.
"After thoroughly reviewing Judge Sotomayor's record and being able to hear her testimony and responses during the hearing process, I reluctantly, and with a heavy heart, have found that I cannot support her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court," Hatch said in a statement. "In truth, I wish President Obama had chosen a Hispanic nominee that all Senators could support. I believe it would have done a great deal for our great country."
Hatch's announcement came shortly after fellow Senate Judiciary Committee Republican John Cornyn also announced he would not support Sotomayor. So far South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the only Republican on the panel who has said he will vote for Obama's Supreme Court pick.
Sotomayor will become the first of 11 Supreme Court nominees Hatch will vote against.
Full statement after the jump:
(CNN) - Texas Republican John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Friday he would vote no to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
The former Texas State Supreme Court justice questioned Sotomayor's "objectivity and neutrality" given a string of court rulings and her past statements.
"I went into the hearing with an open mind. I felt she deserved the opportunity to explain how she approached some of the most controversial cases on which she's ruled and put her public statements in context," he said.
"At the end of the hearing I found myself wondering who is the real Judge Sonia Sotomayor," Cornyn said.
Earlier in the week, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham became the first Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to announce he would support Sotomayor. In all, five Republicans have said they will vote to confirm Obama's choice for the high court.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The National Rifle Association reinforced its opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, warning senators Thursday their votes will be considered in the NRA's future candidate evaluations.
The NRA announced last week that it viewed Sotomayor as having a "hostile view" of gun rights under the Constitution.
Since the NRA's announcement last week, five Republicans have already pledged their votes for Sotomayor, including conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and key member of the Judiciary Committee.
The nominee herself was on Capitol Hill, meeting with conservative senators. Seven Republicans have already announced they would vote against her, but that is not expected to slow what is predicted to be easy confirmation to the nation's highest court.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key Republican senator announced Wednesday he plans to vote for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, adding further momentum to an easy confirmation for President Obama's first high court pick.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's decision bucks the views of most of his conservative GOP colleagues. Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi preceded Graham on the Senate floor to oppose the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge.
Graham called Sotomayor "extremely well-qualified" with an extensive legal and judicial record, but criticized some of her views expressed on and of the bench. He lamented "the politicization of the judiciary" that he said has hurt public respect for the courts and the legislature itself. Three other moderate Republicans have previously announced they would vote to confirm Sotomayor.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote next Tuesday whether to confirm her, followed days later by a full Senate vote. Confirmation is expected, and GOP leaders have said they would not filibuster the nominee.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed its confirmation vote for Judge Sonia Sotomayor by one week Tuesday, acceding to GOP demands for more time to examine the Supreme Court nominee's record.
"We all know that Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed," said panel chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. "Once she is passed in this committee, there will be no delay on the floor."
The White House and congressional Democrats have expressed confidence that a final floor vote on Sotomayor will occur before the early August Senate recess, leaving her with sufficient time to get settled into her new job and prepare for the high court's next oral arguments, scheduled for September 9.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voiced her support for the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge, joining three GOP colleagues who earlier said they would vote for the nominee.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins has joined her fellow GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe, Mel Martinez and Richard Lugar in announcing her intent to support Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
The judge "has impressive legal experience, has excelled throughout her life, and is a tremendously accomplished person," Collins said in a statement released Tuesday.
Collins said she knows that she will not agree with every decision Sotomayor will make as a member of the nation's highest court, but adds that she has "concluded that Judge Sotomayor understands the proper rule of a judge and is committed to applying the law impartially without bias or favoritism."
In a nod to the controversy surrounding Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment, Collins said Tuesday that her "expectation is that Justice Sotomayor will adhere to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's admonition that "a wise old woman and a wise old man would eventually reach the same conclusion in a case.'"
The Senate Judiciary Committee also decided Tuesday to delay the vote on Sotomayor's nomination for a week.
“You had one leader of the Republican Party call her the equivalent to the head of the Klu Klux Klan,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Another leader of the Republican Party called her a bigot,” Leahy added, later explaining that he was making reference to comments by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
After Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Ranking Republican on the committee, referred to Sotomayor’s past involvement in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Leahy again suggested that some Republicans were being unfairly critical of Sotomayor.
“I hope we don’t go back to the day when we used to have African-Americans up for confirmation and say ‘Yes, but you belong to the NAACP so, you know, we’re really suspicious of you,’” Leahy said CNN’s State of the Union.
“C’mon, stop the racial politics,” Leahy added.
Leahy remarks drew an immediate response from Sessions.
(CNN) – GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Mel Martinez of Florida Friday both publicly announced their support for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, bringing the tally of Republican senators supporting Obama's pick to three.
"Judge Sotomayor is knowledgeable of the law, would be a fair and impartial judge, and seems to have a good understanding of the limited role the judiciary plays in our democracy," Martinez said in a statement.
Martinez, who was born in Cuba, also praised the historic nature of Sotomayor's nomination.
"As an Hispanic American, I take great pride in Judge Sotomayor's historic achievement. Given her qualifications and testimony this week, I intend to vote in favor of her confirmation."
Snowe said in a statement she was impressed with Sotomayor's performance at the hearings. "She appears neither rigid nor dogmatic in her approach to the essential task of constitutional interpretation," Snowe said.
Earlier Friday, Indiana Republican Dick Lugar also announced his support of Sotomayor.