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Alito Vote Set for Next Week

January 17, 2006|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote next Tuesday on Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s nomination to the Supreme Court, officials announced Monday night, and the full Senate will begin debate the following day.

In a written statement, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he looked forward to a swift and "fair up-or-down vote" on Alito, President Bush's choice to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Alito, 55, an appeals court judge, is assured of approval in the committee, where all 10 Republicans have indicated their support. The eight Democrats on the committee are expected to oppose him.

Prospects for confirmation in the Senate are strong too.

A filibuster by Democrats to delay or prevent a final vote appears increasingly unlikely after Alito's testimony at confirmation hearings last week, where he parried sharply worded Democratic attacks on his judicial record and personal credibility without a major stumble.

The hearings concluded Friday. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the committee chairman, had said he intended to schedule a committee vote on the nomination for this week.

Democrats said at the time that they intended to object, and they did, which Frist called "unjustified and desperate partisan obstructionism."

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