Senate Ends Debate on Samuel Alito Supreme Court Bid, Vote Tuesday

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Ends Debate on Samuel Alito Supreme Court Bid, Vote Tuesday Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30, 2006

Washington, DC ( — The Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to end debate on the nomination of Samuel Alito to replace pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. The 72 to 25 bipartisan vote sets up a likely vote to approve Alito’s nomination on Tuesday.

The Senate needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster led by a handful of pro-abortion lawmakers. The 72 votes represented every Republican senator and the support of 17 Democrats.

Massachusetts Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry failed to persuade more of their fellow Democrats to back the filibuster.

Not every member who supported the cloture vote plans on confirming Alito on Tuesday. The 15-year veteran of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to receive about 57 votes to be confirmed for the high court.

On Monday, some of the final members of the Senate who had yet to announce a position on Alito, took up sides.

Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, one of the few pro-abortion Republicans, said he would vote against Alito in part because of the issue of abortion. He said Alito’s abortion views conflicted with his own.

Meanwhile, Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said he was planning on voting for Alito after a second meeting with him late last week. He said the judge gave him his assurance he would not be an activist on the high court.

"It is clear that both the majority of my constituents and the majority of the American people are in favor of Judge Alito’s confirmation," he said.

Conrad is the fourth Democrat to support the judge and he joins Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and pro-life advocate Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, a pro-abortion Republican who is still undecided, blasted lawmakers who backed endless debate.

"I find it regrettable that there are those who are trying to resurrect a filibuster even as there is clearly nothing in the record that constitutes extraordinary circumstances," she said.

Meanwhile, Alito is still meeting with lawmakers to find more votes in his favor, despite having essentially sewn up the nomination. He met with pro-abortion Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, on Monday afternoon.

TAKE ACTION: Make your views about Judge Alito’s noination known by contacting your senators. You can reach them by going to: