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Alito confirmed, sworn in as justice

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice today after being confirmed by the Senate in one of the most partisan victories in modern history.

Alito was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court building across from the Capitol about 12:40 p.m. EST, court officials said.

In a fierce battle over the future of the high court, the Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Alito — a former federal appellate judge, U.S. attorney, and conservative lawyer for the Reagan administration from New Jersey — as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a moderate swing vote on the court.

All but one of the Senate's majority Republicans voted for his confirmation, while all but four of the Democrats voted against Alito.

That is the smallest number of senators in the president's opposing party to support a Supreme Court justice in modern history. Chief Justice John Roberts got 22 Democratic votes last year, and Justice Clarence Thomas — who was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote — got 11 Democratic votes.

After the vote, President George W. Bush lauded Alito as "a man of deep character and integrity, and he will make all Americans proud as a justice on our highest court."

Alito watched the final vote from the White House's Roosevelt Room with his family. He will appear with Bush at the State of the Union speech this evening. Alito will be ceremonially sworn in a second time at a White House East Room appearance tomorrow.

Justice Alito's orientation begins
If justices deadlock on cases already heard, Alito may have to break the tie. 02.01.06


Online symposium: Samuel Alito & the First Amendment

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