Ohio senators weight in on Supreme Court justice nominees

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Ohio senators weight in on Supreme Court justice nominees

Columbus Dispatch – WASHINGTON — GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio was a "yes" vote the first time President Barack Obama nominated a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of just nine Republicans to vote for now Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Voinovich's rationale signals he will be a Republican vote Democrats hope to win again. Voinovich is leaving the Senate at the end of this year, so a Supreme Court confirmation vote later this year could be one of his last major votes as a U.S. senator.

Voinovich, who is in Portugal today at a conference on energy security and climate change, issued a statement praising Justice John Paul Stevens for "distinguished service" after news broke of his coming retirement this summer.

Voinovich said once Obama nominates a replacement, "I look forward to treating his nominee fairly and reviewing their impartiality, integrity, legal expertise and judicial temperament. It is the Senate's role to exercise the constitutional power to advise and consent, and I look forward to fair and rigorous hearings."

Voinovich said last August, when he voted in favor of Sotomayor, that he made his decision based on factors such as prior judicial experience, judicial temperament and commitment to the rule of law not on whether he would have made the nomination himself.

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