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The Senate confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination Thursday by a 68 to 31 vote, making her the first Hispanic on the high court.

Sotomayor’s confirmation also makes the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge the 111th person to sit on the Supreme Court, and the third woman justice.

The confirmation was read out by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota.

Senators spent the final morning of debate rehashing the main arguments for and against Sotomayor.

Democrats continued to praise Sotomayor as a fair and impartial jurist with an extraordinary life story. Many Republicans continued to portray her as a judicial activist intent on reinterpreting the law to conform with her own liberal political beliefs.

ermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, helped open the final day of debate by praising Sotomayor’s lengthy judicial record. He also took a swipe at the majority of Senate Republicans likely to oppose her.

Sotomayor “is a judge of unimpeachable character and integrity,” Leahy said. “These critics have … chosen to ignore her extensive record of judicial modesty and restraint, a record made over 17 years on the federal bench. Instead they focused on and mischaracterized her rulings in just a handful of her more than 3,600 cases.”

Conservative opponents had conceded the likelihood of Sotomayor’s confirmation and expressed hope that she would bring a “restrained approach” to the high court.

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