by Steven Ertelt
November 4, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Less than 24 hours after President Bush thanked the American people for supporting his re-election bid, a leading pro-abortion Senate Republican told the president not to send up nominations of judges who are pro-life on abortion.
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (R), fresh from his own re-election success Tuesday, is slated to be the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Congress begins its next session in January.
Late Tuesday, Specter warned Bush against nominating strong pro-life advocates to succeed any retiring justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely," they would be approved, Specter told the Associated Press.
"The president is well aware of what happened, when a bunch of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster," Specter said.
However pro-life groups and leading pro-life lawmakers in the Senate are encouraged by Tuesday’s results — which produced two new pro-life senators and additional votes for Bush’s judicial nominees. That gives the president a better chance of stopping such filibusters.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist noted those changes when he told AP, "I’m very confident that now we’ve gone from 51 seats to 55 seats, we will be able to overturn this what has become customary filibuster of judicial nominees."
Specter’s comments earned him a rebuke from one leading pro-life senator and may jeopardize his ability to become chairman of the judicial committee.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told the Associated Press, "We’ll have to see where he stands," in reference to whether Specter will get the top post.
Cornyn indicated he would talk to Specter to determine whether the pro-abortion Republican will support the president.
Nikolas Nikas, general counsel for Americans United for Life, said Bush’s strong election victory on Tuesday gives him a mandate to push forward with the kind of judges he appointed during his first term.
"President Bush won reelection with the key support of millions of Americans who respect the dignity of every human life," Nikas told LifeNews.com.
"I trust President Bush will use the same steely determination and fortitude he has shown on the war against terror to overcome any and all opposition to his promotion of judicial nominees who interpret the text of the Constitution rather than read into the Constitution their personal policy views," Nikas added.
Bush was credited with nominating several pro-life advocates to key federal appeals courts and the abortion advocacy group NARAL could find only a hint of support for abortion from two of the 200 judges Bush put forward.