By a vote of 68-31 Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Voting was largely along party lines.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is expected to administer the oath of office to Judge Sotomayor, 55, in the next few days, with a formal ceremony likely in September. She succeeds Justice David H. Souter, who retired in June.
“Judge Sotomayor is certainly a fine person with an impressive story and a distinguished background,” the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said this week. “But a judge must be able to check his or her personal or political agenda at the courtroom door and do justice evenhandedly, as the judicial oath requires. This is the most fundamental test. It is a test that Judge Sotomayor does not pass.”
But Democrats portrayed Judge Sotomayor as a mainstream and qualified judge whose life — rising from a childhood in a Bronx housing project to the Ivy League and now the Supreme Court — is a classic American success story. And they called her judicial record moderate and mainstream.