The Senate's No. 3 Republican is breaking party lines and putting his support behind Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he disagrees with Sotomayor's judicial philosophy, especially on gun rights, but is basing his decision on her experience, temperament, and character.
"Even though Judge Sotomayor's political and judicial philosophy may be different than mine, especially regarding Second Amendments rights, I will vote to confirm her because she is well qualified by experience, temperament, character and intellect to serve," Alexander said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Lamar is now the sixth conservative to align himself with the first Hispanic justice nominee. Other Republicans supporting Sotomayor include Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and moderate Sens. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., and Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
The full Senate will vote on Sotomayor next week and she is expected to be easily confirmed.