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Alito sworn in as Supreme Court justice

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Samuel Alito has been sworn in as the 110th justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Alito, 55, early Tuesday afternoon was given both the constitutional and judicial oaths of office by Chief Justice John Roberts, himself a member of the high court for four months.

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With the administering of the oaths, Alito joined the court and the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor took effect. O'Connor, the first woman on the court, joined the panel in 1981.

Alito's first act as a court member was joining Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer at President George W. Bush's fifth State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

The U.S. Senate voted 58-42, mostly along party lines, earlier Tuesday to approve Alito's nomination.

Monday, the Senate voted 72-25 to end debate on the nomination. Opponents claim that Alito's views would not protect women rights, civil rights or the separation of powers.

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