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Removing the Specter of Specter 

By Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman

Almost before the chad-checking for the 2004-elections was over, the next campaign in the Culture War had begun. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is claiming by seniority the right to hold the all-important chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And it seemed immediately after November 2 that he would be "granted that right." But Specter's record reveals him to be a "RINO" whose views and values were repudiated by voters in the elections.

  1. Judicial nominations will continue to be virtually controlled by the Judiciary Committee chairman. What kind of judges does Specter support?

    Specter voted for every one of President Clinton's judicial nominees except one. On the other hand, Specter led the opposition to Judge Robert Bork, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, and the confirmation hearings were so vicious that "Bork" has become a verb: harassing a judicial nominee is called "Borking" him. In a press conference last week, Specter said that Roe v. Wade is "inviolate," clearing implying that he will defeat any court nominee who might reconsider Roe v. Wade.

  2. Vitally important court-curbing legislation will also be a focus of Constitutionalist forces in the days ahead. But as long ago as 1982, Specter revealed his opposition to such laws. When the Senate voted in 1982 to limit Supreme Court jurisdiction over the intensely inflammatory issue of school busing, Specter strenuously objected:

    • [This bill is] a clear and present danger to constitutional government."

    • "[This bill] is unnecessary, unwise and unconstitutional."

    • "[Denying Congress this court-curbing power is critical] to the sanctity of constitutional government [and] to preserv[ing] the power of the Supreme Court to protect legal rights and enforce the Constitution."

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