Washington Two Democrats who supported Chief Justice John Roberts said Thursday they would oppose Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito in next week's Senate vote.
The conservative judge is expected to be confirmed, but with fewer votes than the 78 Roberts received in September.
Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ken Salazar of Colorado both questioned whether Alito would be independent of President Bush and the executive branch in his future rulings.
The Judiciary Committee, which has 10 Republicans and eight Democrats, is expected to approve Alito's nomination Tuesday in a party-line vote. The full Senate is expected to debate and vote on the nomination that same week, with its Republican majority confirming the federal appeals judge.
Leahy, Salazar and Max Baucus of Montana - who announced his opposition to Alito on Wednesday - were three of the 22 Democrats who voted for Roberts' confirmation as the replacement for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist