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GOP, divided on Sotomayor, won't drag out debate

Senate Republicans aren

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2009, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans aren't planning a drawn-out floor debate on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic justice.

GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee plan to block a panel vote scheduled for today, which would delay the committee's action until July 28. But Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican, said he thought a Senate debate on Sotomayor's confirmation could be completed in four days.

That's a standard timetable for recent Supreme Court nominees, and it underscores the GOP's intent to refrain from filibustering Sotomayor. That would risk alienating Hispanic voters, a fast-growing part of the electorate.

Sotomayor has solid support from Senate Democrats, who control a 60-vote majority, and at least three Republicans have said publicly they intend to vote for her.

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