In a surprise to no one, Samuel Alito just made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 party-line vote. That's better than Clarence Thomas did in 1991, when the committee sent his nomination to the floor without a recommendation. But it's not as well as John G. Roberts did just four months ago. The chief justice went to the Senate floor with the support of 13 of the 18 members of the judiciary committee, including five Democrats.
The Senate is expected to vote on Alito's nomination later this week. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is still the only Democrat to announce that he'll switch sides and join the 55 Senate Republicans in voting to confirm the nominee.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.