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Senate Panel Approves Sotomayor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, all but ensuring she will become the court's first Hispanic justice.

Just one Republican joined all 12 Democrats on the panel to recommend that the full Senate confirm Sotomayor, 55, a federal judge for the past 17 years.

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