Pro-Abortion Republican Senators Block Pro-Life Judicial Nominee

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 20, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Republican Senators Block Pro-Life Judicial Nominee

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 20, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Senate Republicans are doing everything possible to stop a filibuster by pro-abortion lawmakers and give President Bush’s pro-life appeals court nominees an up or down vote. That’s what makes it strange that some Republican senators are holding up the nomination of the president of a pro-life organization from being confirmed.

President Bush nominated Leon Holm’s, an attorney and former president of Arkansas Right to Life, for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Arkansas.

In April, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a 10-9 party line vote, passed on the nomination to the Senate floor for consideration. That’s as far as Holmes’ nomination has gotten thanks to a small group of pro-abortion senators.

Pro-abortion Republican senators Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine are playing the role of obstructionists this time.

Specter, who is facing a challenge in the 2004 Senate primary from pro-life Congressman Pat Toomey, blocked a Senate vote in April and the three continue to object.

They oppose Holmes in part because of his comments on rape and abortion.

Holmes has said abortion advocates who say abortion should be legal for cases of rape and incest are using the argument as a “red herring” because “conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

According to the National Abortion Federation, a coalition of abortion businesses, about 16,000 women each year have abortions because they have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Approximately 5.4 percent of rape victims become pregnant.

What makes their opposition to Holmes’ nomination more odd is that some Democrats have indicated they will vote to confirm him — including his home state senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln — both Arkansas Democrats who support abortion.

Last Friday, at the conclusion of a 40-hour long debate on Bush’s appeals court nominees, Pryor asked the Senate to vote on Holmes’ nomination but was overruled.

Though many Democrats may vote against the nomination, they are willing to cast a vote — possibly because they know at least three Republicans will vote against him and the chance Holmes will be defeated is more likely.

"All systems are go on this side," Pryor said. "I have talked to my Democratic colleagues and we are ready to vote Mr. Holmes up or down."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle also said Senate Democrats would not object to a vote.

Therefore all that remains is for Senate Republicans leaders to get Specter, Snowe and Collins to drop their objections and allow a vote on Holmes.

ACTION: If you live in Pennsylvania or Maine, call Senators Specter, Snowe and Collins and urge them to allow a vote on Holmes’ nomination. Senator Collins: (202) 224-2523; Senator Snowe: (202) 224-5344; Senator Specter: (202) 224-4254.