October 31, 2005


Specter to be at center of court nominee fight: As Senate Judiciary chairman, the Pennsylvania senator will play a pivotal role in the confirmation of a new justice. (Chris Mondics, 7/03/05, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Specter almost lost the powerful Judiciary Committee chairmanship after his reelection last year, when he suggested that opposition to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion would disqualify a nominee. He came under enormous criticism from the Christian right and only persuaded fellow senators that he should be named chairman by assuring them that he would not apply ideological litmus tests to judicial nominees.

"Obviously, if he came out against any nominee, that would be the kiss of death, given Democratic opposition," said Alan Lichtman, a history professor at American University.

But Specter offered no clues on his leanings Friday shortly after the O'Connor announcement.

At a news conference in Philadelphia, he sharply criticized Bork as "having the most extreme ideology of any nominee ever," while offering praise for federal appeals court Judge Samuel A. Alito, also a conservative, who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for O'Connor.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2005 11:05 AM

Who cares if Arlen likes him? The only relevant question is whether McCain wants to be President. If so, Alito is sitting pretty. If not, he shouldn't make any moving plans...

Posted by: b at October 31, 2005 11:31 AM

ahhh, John Mc Cain, the prince who can't make himself king but has the power to enthrone others.

Posted by: Niccolo Machiavelli at October 31, 2005 12:09 PM

Arlen's not going to take down a fellow Pennsylvanian, besides, one assumes that he made certain promises last winter just to keep his job.

Posted by: curt at October 31, 2005 12:11 PM

Niccolo, if only you could take down McCain before he damages our republic any further.

Life was simpler in the old days when "problems" would have been dealt with

Posted by: tefta at October 31, 2005 2:04 PM

old ways are best ways. he will pass soon, his health is failing.

Posted by: Nicolo Machiavelli at October 31, 2005 3:53 PM