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US Senate Confirms Alito to Supreme Court

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of federal Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

The final vote was 58-to-42, largely along party lines. Tuesday's vote came after the Republican-controlled Senate on Monday stopped an effort by opposition Democrats to extend the debate over Alito's nomination.

Judge Alito is expected to be sworn in today and to attend the president's State of the Union address with the other Supreme Court justices.

He replaces Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is retiring. She was known as a "swing voter" on the Court, meaning she sometimes sided with the more conservative justices and sometimes with the more liberal ones.

Alito's critics say he will move the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction, especially on issues like abortion and civil rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.