by Steven Ertelt
January 31, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Senate voted 58-42 to confirm appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The vote was largely along party lines, but a handful of Democratic senators sided with virtually all Senate Republicans to put Alito on the high court.
Some 54 of the 55 Republican lawmakers in the Senate votes in favor of confirming Alito with the exception of pro-abortion Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island.
Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and pro-life Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska also backed Alito’s bid.
Pro-abortion senators mostly voted against Alito as they worried he would be another vote on the high court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion for virtually any reason throughout pregnancy.
The Senate’s vote for Alito will allow him enough time to take a seat along with other members of the Supreme Court in the front row of Congress to listen to President Bush’s State of the Union address.
Alito watched the vote on television from the White House and will be sworn in late Tuesday.
Alito is the second Bush nominee to win Senate approval for the high court. Last year, the Senate confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts on an overwhelming 78-22 bipartisan vote.
The Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to end debate on the nomination following a threatened filibuster by a handful of pro-abortion senators. Massachusetts Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry failed to persuade more of their fellow Democrats to back the filibuster.
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.
TAKE ACTION: Make your views about your senators’ votes on Judge Alito’s nomination known. You can reach them by going to: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.