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Breaking NewsVictory On Capital Hill

ve8QAd   |   November 13, 2000

Breaking News Archive 2004

Victory On Capital Hill
by: Bradley Mattes

If you made a phone call regarding Senator Arlen Specter, congratulations. Your effort bore considerable fruit. Senators were flooded with calls, asking Mr. Specter not be allowed to chair the Judiciary Committee. Even though he will be chairman, it was a victory. Senator Specter was forced to publicly put into writing he would support the President’s judicial nominations. Further he would also support a rules change to stop pro-abortion Democrats from filibustering upcoming nominees. The Judiciary Committee Chair holds considerable power over the fairness of hearings on nominees. He can make or break their future on the court. Scroll down to read Specter’s full statement. Thank you! Your effort made the difference.


Washington, D.C. – Senator Specter gave the following statement today on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

I have not and would not use a litmus test to deny confirmation to pro-life nominees. I voted to confirm Chief Justice Rehnquist after he had voted against Roe v. Wade. Similarly, I voted to confirm pro-life nominees, Justice Scalia, Justice O’Connor and Justice Kennedy. I lead the successful fight to confirm Justice Thomas which almost cost me my Senate seat in 1992.

I have assured the President that I would give his nominees quick Committee hearings and early Committee votes so floor action could be promptly scheduled. I have voted for all of President Bush’s judicial nominees in Committee and on the floor, and I have no reason to believe that I’ll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy of nomination. I believe I can help the President get his nominees approved just as I did on confirmation of two controversial Pennsylvania Circuit nominees when other, similarly situated Circuit nominees, were being filibustered.

I have already registered my opposition to the Democrats’ filibusters with 17 floor statements and will use my best efforts to stop any future filibusters. It is my hope and expectation that we can avoid future filibusters and judicial gridlock with a 55-45 Republican majority and election results demonstrating voter dissatisfaction with Democratic filibusters. If a rule change is necessary to avoid filibusters, there are relevant recent precedents to secure rule changes with 51 votes.

I intend to consult with my colleagues on the Committee’s legislative agenda, including tort reform, and will have balanced hearings with all viewpoints represented. I have long objected to the tactic used of bottling up civil rights legislation in the Judiciary Committee when it should have gone to the floor for an up or down vote. Accordingly, I would not support Committee action to bottle up legislation or a constitutional amendment, even one which I personally opposed, reserving my own position for the floor.


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