The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee -- in a party-line vote -- has approved President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito.
All 10 Republicans voted Tuesday to confirm Alito, while the eight Democrats on the panel voted against the nomination of the conservative federal judge.
The nomination will now go before the full Republican-controlled Senate, which is expected to confirm Alito to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been an important swing vote in many cases.
Democrats are worried Alito will move the high court in a more conservative direction, especially on such issues as abortion and presidential powers.
Republicans say Alito is a man of integrity who will not legislate from the judicial bench.
Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.