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Aug 5, 2010 3:44 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Senate confirms Kagan as Supreme Court justice

The Senate has confirmed Elena Kagan as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

The vote was 63-37 for President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat and the Senate's two independents to support Kagan. In a rarely practiced ritual reserved for the most historic votes, senators sat at their desks and stood to cast their votes with "ayes" and "nays." K

agan isn't expected to alter the ideological balance of the court, where Stevens was considered a leader of the liberals. But the two parties clashed over her nomination. Republicans argued that Kagan was a political liberal who would be unable to be impartial. Democrats defended her as a highly qualified legal scholar.

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