Dr. Gary Cass, Executive Director for the Center For Reclaiming America, writes:
“You may have read recent media reports saying the Senate Judiciary Committee has resoundingly endorsed Senator Arlen Specter--this despite his decidedly pro-abortion position.The cover letter to the petitions reads in part,
"Having just returned from Washington, D.C., where I hand-delivered your petitions to the offices of Sens. John Cornyn (TX), Charles Grassley (IA), Orrin Hatch (UT), and Jon Kyl (AZ)--all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee-- as well as Senate Majority Leader Frist’s Chief of Staff and key officials in Sen. Specter and Sen. Craig’s offices, I have a different story to tell.
“Your petitions helped throw open the door in seven Senate offices, giving me a real opportunity to voice your concern and reservations about having Sen. Specter chair such a powerful committee.
“In every office I visited, the phones were ringing off the hook with your phone calls, requesting that Sen. Specter not serve as committee chairman. One staffer even told me that the ratio of calls was approximately 5000 against Specter to one dozen in support.
“But here's the best part...
“Even though it appears that Sen. Specter will chair the Judiciary Committee, it was the overwhelming strength of your petitions that enabled me sit down with Senator Specter’s staff. In fact, with petitions in hand, I challenged the beleaguered Senator's staff to provide me with written confirmation of Senator Specter's promises--telling not just me, but 66,443 citizens that he is committed to doing the right thing in this vital position.
“Even though I have not yet received this written confirmation, I fully intend to ‘hold their feet to the fire’ until it arrives.”
“Though Senator Specter has pointed repeatedly to his support of President Bush’s judicial nominees thus far, he is proud of the role he played in keeping Robert Bork off of the United States Supreme Court, proclaiming as recently as October, 'I not only voted against Bork, I led the charge against him.' Had Bork been confirmed, rather than Anthony Kennedy, Roe v. Wade could have been overturned in 1992 (Planned Parenthood v. Casey). Instead, Kennedy, whose flip flop in the case was revealed in Chief Justice Harry Blackmun’s papers, provided the one vote needed to uphold Roe v. Wade."At a November 18 press conference, Specter said,
“It is my hope and expectation that we can avoid future filibusters and judicial gridlock. I have assured the president that I would give his nominees quick committee hearings and early committee votes. I have no reason to believe that I'll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy.”We shall see.