U.S. Senate Judiciary committee members are expected to conclude questioning Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on Thursday, after an emotional and contentious third day of hearings.
Under persistent questioning by Senate Democrats Wednesday, Alito declined to say whether he would vote to uphold legalized abortion. He called the landmark Supreme Court case known as Roe versus Wade an important precedent, but declined to call it "settled law."
Some senators also questioned Alito's inability to recall details of his membership in an organization that opposed the admission of women and minorities to Princeton University.
At one point Judge Alito's wife was seen softly crying then leaving the hearing room as a Republican committee member, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, criticized Democrats for what he suggested were aggressive tactics against her husband.
Alito is widely expected to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor -- often seen as the pivotal vote on controversial issues, including abortion and the extent of presidential power.