Tuesday, January 31, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) - Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday 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 at about 12:40 p.m., EDT, court officials said.
Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner, along with other members of the court and their spouses, attended the ceremony in the justices' conference room. The 55-year-old New Jersey jurist took both the constitutional and judicial oaths so he can immediately participate in court decisions.
This came only hours after 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.