The story

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, setting up a final confirmation vote by the Senate.

The 13-6 committee vote was mostly on partisan lines, with one Republican joining the panel's Democrats in sending the nomination to the full Senate.

At least five Republican senators have announced their intention to support Sotomayor, making confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate a virtual certainty.

Sotomayor, 55, is President Obama's first nominee to the nation's highest court. She would be 111th person to sit on the Supreme Court, and the third female justice.

The Judiciary Committee held a four-day confirmation hearing earlier this month that foreshadowed Tuesday's vote, with Democrats praising Sotomayor's 17-year record as a federal judge and her made-in-America story as a minority woman who rose to success through hard work and opportunity. Read full article »

CNN's Terry Frieden contributed to this report.

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