Conservative and liberal U.S. lawmakers and activists are staking out positions for a battle over President Bush's latest nomination to the Supreme Court. Conservatives hailed the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito, who has been a federal appeals court judge for the last 15 years. But many Democrats criticized the nomination, saying Mr. Bush ignored their call to pick a moderate and instead sought to please his conservative supporters. A fierce fight is expected during the confirmation process in the U.S. Senate, particularly because Judge Alito would be a swing vote on the Supreme Court in such contentious issues as abortion and the death penalty. The Democrats, who are outnumbered in the Senate, may use a parliamentary tactic known as a filibuster in an attempt to kill the nomination by blocking a final vote through endless debate.