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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito Confirmed !

Alito Confirmed as Nation's 110th Supreme Court Justice

The Senate voted 58-42 on Tuesday to confirm Samuel Alito to the nation's highest court, putting to bed the most partisan Supreme Court nomination battle in recent memory.

Only four Democrats joined 54 Republicans in support of Alito. Of the court's present justices, only Clarence Thomas received a slimmer margin of victory, 52-48, but even then received the votes of 11 Democrats who broke party ranks.

Alito replaces the court's first woman justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative and key swing vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, church-state separation and affirmative action. O'Connor has also in recent opinions demonstrated skepticism of President Bush's executive power claims in prosecuting the War on Terror. Alito is widely expected to be friendlier to presidential power arguments.

The vast majority of Democrats, one Republican and the Senate's lone Independent all protested Alito's nomination for those very reasons. But a last-ditch effort to filibuster the nomination failed on Monday, when the Senate voted 72-25 to end debate and allow a simple majority vote. (source)

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