New Senate Judiciary Chair Warns Bush

Expected incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) cautioned President Bush not to make any far-right nominations to the US Supreme Court, especially those who would overturn Roe v Wade. “The President is well aware of what happened, when a bunch of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster,” Specter told the Washington Post. “When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely.” Specter also rebuffed Republican assertions that the election gave President Bush a mandate. “If you have a race that is won by a percentage or two, you have a narrowly divided country, and that’s not a traditional mandate,” said Specter, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. In a press conference today, Bush said, “[I]f people are interested in knowing the kind of judges I’ll pick, look at the record,” according to Reuters. Many of Bush’s federal Circuit Court and District Court nominees hold conservative viewpoints, some so extreme that a broad coalition of civil rights, women’s rights, environmental, and other progressive groups urged Senate Democrats to filibuster these nominees. However, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said that he is “very confident that now we’ve gone from 51 seats to 55 seats, we will be able to overturn this what has become customary filibuster of judicial nominees,” according to the Associated Press. Specter is expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, as the current chair, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is at the end of his term limit. DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion


Washington Post 11/4/04; Philadelphia Inquirer 11/4/04; Reuters 11/4/04; Associated Press 11/4/04

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