Alito Begins High Court Confirmation Hearings

Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito

Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito is sworn in prior to making his opening statement, Jan. 9. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's confirmation hearings began Monday.

Senators on the Judiciary Committee highlighted abortion, executive power and civil rights as issues on which they plan to question the nominee. Alito also gave an opening statement.

If confirmed, Alito would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the nation's highest court, and would change — perhaps even dramatically transform — the ideological makeup of the court.

The Alito Hearings: Monday's Audio Highlights

Monday's Senate hearings on Judge Samuel Alito focused on opening statements from the 10 Republican and eight Democratic senators on the panel, and from the nominee. Senators noted the issues they plan to question the nominee about, in particular, abortion, the limits of executive power and civil rights. Many of the committee's Democrats focused on how Alito would alter the balance on the court. The 10 Republicans on the panel focused their remarks on praising Alito's legal qualifications and for his record of what they saw as judicial restraint.

Highlights from Monday's Proceedings



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