Specter Promises to Support Bush’s Judicial Nominees; Earns GOP Endorsement

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) earned the endorsement of his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to be the committee’s chair last Thursday after he released a formal statement saying he would support all of President Bush’s judicial nominees, guaranteeing them prompt hearings and floor action. Over the past several weeks, Specter has gone to great lengths to ensure critics that he would support the administration’s conservative agenda, after sparking an outcry from the religious right with a statement he made on November 3 regarding the unlikelihood of anti-choice Supreme Court nominees being confirmed. At a press conference the day after the presidential election, Specter cautioned President Bush not to make any far-right nominations to the US Supreme Court, especially those who would overturn Roe v Wade. “I have not and would not use a litmus test to deny confirmation to pro-life nominees,” Specter said in the formal statement. “I have no reason to believe that I’ll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy of nomination.” Specter also referred to his record on previous judicial nominees, specifically his votes to confirm anti-choice Supreme Court Justices Scalia, O’Connor, and Kennedy, and his leadership in the fight to confirm Clarence Thomas. Specter also stated that he will use his “best efforts” to quell future filibusters. Democrats have successfully blocked 10 of President Bush’s right-wing judicial nominees with filibusters. In his statement, Specter mentioned the possibility of implementing a rule change that would render filibusters on judicial nominees unconstitutional. Specter pointed out that it is possible that this rule change, coined by Democrats as a “nuclear option,” could be approved with only 51 votes due to “relevant recent precedents.” Beginning in January, the Republicans will hold a majority with 55 senators. Democrats have pledged to fight the “nuclear option,” which would radically dilute the power of Senators. DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion LEARN MORE about the Nuclear Option


Senator Arlen SpecterÕs Formal Statement 11/18/04; Washington Post 11/19/04; New York Times 11/19/04; Los Angeles Times 11/19/04; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 11/19/04; Feminist Daily News Wire 11/4/04

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