The US Senate has approved President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, making her only the fourth woman in history to sit on America’s top legal body.
The 50-year-old is considered to be a moderate and her appointment is unlikely to alter the court’s ideological makeup.
A former White House aide to Bill Clinton, she later became dean of Harvard Law School and then US solicitor general under Obama.
The debate was especially partisan ahead of November’s congressional elections.
Kagan’s opponents said she would support liberal policies and criticised her lack of judicial experience.
In the end all Democrat senators but one voted for her, as did five Republicans and two independents.
Elena Kegan will become the third woman on the nine-member Supreme court.
One issue Kagan may have to rule on is gay marriage. In California, opponents have said they’ll appeal against this week’s decision by a federal judge to strike down the state’s ban.
At Harvard, Kagan barred the military from the recruitment office in protest at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
On abortion, another hot issue in Supreme Court nominations, she has been quiet but is assumed to be pro-choice.