Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito Jr. was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee early Tuesday afternoon on straight party lines, with all 10 Republicans endorsing the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge and all eight Democrats opposing him. The strictly partisan committee vote had been widely anticipated after Alito’s weeklong hearings earlier this month.

“I do not believe, notwithstanding all the cameras here today, that there’s a great deal of suspense,” said committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa. “I am personally very sorry to see a party-line vote out of this committee and almost a party-line vote out of the full Senate,” Specter added, shortly after he gaveled the committee to order at 9:30 a.m., some three hours before the panel’s actual roll-call vote.

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