Specter to Become Judiciary Chairman After All:

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“Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter raised the ire of pro-family conservatives by inferring Bush’s pro-life judges may not be confirmed by the Senate. After a bitter controversy ensued, he convinced GOP Senators that he will tow the party line.

Pro-family forces lose the battle, but may win the war:

Judiciary Panel Backs Specter
GOP Senators Elicit Pledge Not to Block Antiabortion Judges

By Helen Dewar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2004; Page A06

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously endorsed Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) as the committee’s new chairman yesterday, overriding complaints from conservative activists that he might try to block antiabortion nominees to the Supreme Court.

Specter got his colleagues’ blessing after he drafted a statement — and strengthened it during negotiations with GOP leaders and committee Republicans — pledging prompt hearings and votes on President Bush’s judicial nominees. He also vowed to try to curtail Democratic filibusters against judicial choices and held the door open to the possibility of a rule change to ban such filibusters, although he did not endorse it.

His statement followed an extraordinary two weeks during which Specter took the highly unusual step of waging a public fight — including more than 30 broadcast appearances as well as countless conversations with colleagues — to secure a chairmanship that normally would have gone to him without question because of his 24 years of seniority on the panel. Rarely, if ever, has a chairman-to-be had to issue such a public statement to win the support of his colleagues.

The ordeal demonstrated the clout of conservative groups in the GOP but also… < --more–>”




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