Arlen Specter Gets Support From Orrin Hatch, Chairmanship Looks Likely

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arlen Specter Gets Support From Orrin Hatch, Chairmanship Looks Likely Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Despite intense efforts from pro-life advocates, it appears increasingly likely that pro-abortion Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter will be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Late Tuesday, after meeting with Republican members of the judicial panel, Specter picked up the support of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who opposes abortion.

"I expect him to have the support of the committee," Hatch said after the closed-door meeting with the panel’s members.

"Nobody in the meeting was against Arlen," Hatch told reporters, with Specter at his side. "Senator Specter handled himself very well and frankly, I’m for him, as I should be."

Pro-life Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who had his own nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 upended, in part because of Specter, told the Associated Press, "We got our questions answered, and we had a good discussion."

He said he hasn’t decided if he will support Specter for the post.

Leading pro-life advocates such as Family Research Council president Tony Perkins acknowledge it appears Specter has sewn up his effort to head up the key committee, "despite his militantly pro-abortion views."

"The now-ubiquitous Specter is telling every media outlet that will listen that he has no abortion litmus test and would not presume to warn President Bush on nominees," Perkins commented. "Yet his comments to the contrary a day after the recent election and his lengthy liberal record continue to reverberate in the halls of the U.S. Senate."

However, the vote on Specter’s chairmanship doesn’t come until January and Perkins encourages pro-life advocates not to give up. He says more effort should be focused on contacting the Republican members of the committee.

"We will be profoundly disappointed if Specter wins this fight. Please keep up the pressure on the Senate," Perkins indicated.