Judge Samuel A. Alito is now Justice Alito after a 58-42 Senate confirmation vote today.
Despite the grandstanding of Sen. John Kerry (from Switzerland, no less), there was never any real threat of a filibuster. Once it was decided Alito would get an up-or-down vote, his confirmation was all but assured.
By the way, can you tell we’re in an election year? The four Democrats who broke party lines to vote for Alito were Robert Byrd (WV), Tim Johnson (SD), Ben Nelson (NE) and Kent Conrad (ND). It’s no coincidence that the aforementioned Senators represent states which went to President Bush in the 2004 election.
The only nay vote from Republicans came courtesy of Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a consistently “blue state” in Presidential elections.
Despite the public relations beatings President Bush has suffered due to the Iraq war, enormous government spending, illegal immigration, etc., you can hardly deny the resounding victories in his nominations to the SCOTUS.
Given that one of the platforms the President ran on was re-shaping the courts with judges who would actually uphold the constitution, he has hit a home run with the appointments of Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.