Some Republicans Line Up To Deny Specter Judiciary
Sen. Arlen Specter's expectation that he will be approved as the next Senate Judiciary Committee chairman may be challenged by Senate GOP conservatives, egged on by White House officials, angered at Specter's suggestion that President Bush not try to pack the Supreme Court with anti-abortion advocates. "My guys are going to pound on him like a 10 penny nail," said an influential GOP lobbyist. White House insiders and GOP congressional officials were stunned this week when Specter first made his comments. The officials are worried that his remarks would firm up the backbone of other moderate Republican senators who want to block conservatives from getting on the Supreme Court. Under attack by conservatives, Specter has backed off his warning, but White House officials worry that he planted a seed of discontent with administration judicial choices.
To get Specter onboard the White House agenda, some Republican officials are moving to challenge Specter's move into the judiciary committee chairman's job. Specter this week said he is in line to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch, who must step down due to term limit rules. "I think there is a 50-50 chance that Specter will not become chairman or, if he is, that he will not last long," said a GOP congressional insider. More proof Specter's in trouble: Some Senate staffers and allies have created a website, www.notspector.com, to keep the Pennsylvania senator from gaining the committee chairmanship. An early version of the website says it was "Organized as a project of RedState.org NotSpecter is dedicated to the proposition that the Republican party, the conservative movement, and the country would all be better served without Arlen Specter as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. For decades, Specter has shown that his personal interests and the President's agenda are at odds." Paul Bedard, U.S. News