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Republicans Ask for Week Delay on Sotomayor Vote

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee have asked for a one-week delay in the vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says the panel's vote will take place July 28. It had been expected this week.

If the committee approves, Sotomayor's nomination then would move on to the full Senate, where she is expected to be confirmed, becoming the first Hispanic high court justice.

In her confirmation hearings last week, both Democratic and minority Republican senators praised her legal record. The hearings included tough questioning by Republicans.

Sotomayor repeatedly expressed regret for her past comments suggesting that a "wise Latina" might reach better decisions than a white man. She said she did not intend to offend anyone. She also told the committee she does not allow personal sympathies, experiences and ideology to influence her judgment.

The full Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, is expected to vote on Sotomayor in August, before the chamber's annual month-long recess, long before the next Supreme Court session begins in October.

In her testimony, Sotomayor managed to avoid getting her views pinned down on controversial issues such as abortion and gun rights.

The 55-year-old Sotomayor would become the third woman to sit on the nine-member high court, and would replace recently retired Justice David Souter.

Sotomayor, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents, grew up in New York City public housing. She graduated at the top of her class at two prestigious American universities, Princeton and Yale. She served as a federal judge for 17 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.