Hugh Hewitt continues to press his “anti-anti-Specter” position. For the reasons we presented here, Hugh has convinced me that the prudent course is not to block Specter’s elevation to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is just the latest case where Hugh, in my opinion, has been ahead of the curve.
HINDROCKET adds: In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Specter pleads his case effectively:
To resolve any concern that I would block pro-life judicial nominees, take a look at my record. I have consistently opposed any litmus test. I have backed that up by voting to confirm pro-life nominees including Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Anthony Kennedy. I led the fight to confirm Justice Clarence Thomas, which almost cost me my Senate seat in 1992.
I have voted for all of President Bush’s judicial nominees in committee and on the floor.
The current controversy was artificially created by incorrect reporting. I never “warned” the president on anything–and especially not that I’d block pro-life nominees.
Brian Wilson, a reporter for Fox News, said: “I looked at the tape very closely. . . . Senator Specter was the victim of some spin on the part of some reporters who took some comments and were looking for a kind of a good headline out of it.”
As the only pro-choice Republican on the Judiciary Committee, I come from a different philosophical position on the political spectrum and can be helpful in dealing with the Democrats to get the president’s nominees confirmed. I proved that in shepherding through confirmations on two controversial conservative nominees for the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, D. Brooks Smith and Michael Fisher.