WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has confirmed Elena Kagan as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
The vote was 63-37 for President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens.
Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat and the Senate's two independents to support Kagan. In a rarely practiced ritual reserved for the most historic votes, senators sat at their desks and stood to cast their votes with "ayes" and "nays."
Kagan isn't expected to alter the ideological balance of the court, where Stevens was considered a leader of the liberals.
But the two parties clashed over her nomination. Republicans argued that Kagan was a political liberal who would be unable to be impartial. Democrats defended her as a highly qualified legal scholar.