Samuel Alito has been confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, a move that could shape the nation's direction for decades.
The nominee has drawn criticism from Democrats and liberals, who question whether Alito, who has been questioned on his stand on abortion and other Rights issues, can remain unbiased on critical Constitutional votes.
Still, it became apparent yesterday that efforts by Massachusetts Senators Kerry and Kennedy could not muster the votes for a threatened filibuster of the candidate. Other Democrats said they would not support a filibuster even though they would not vote for Alito.
The son of an Italian immigrant, Alito will replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the bench. O"Connor announced last fall her intention to retire and has continued on the bench while awaiting her replacement.