Which candidates are pro-life?

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Nov. 5, 2004
On Tuesday, a clear majority of voters expressed their desire to reverse the moral and cultural decline in America by re-electing President George W. Bush, who has said he wants to work toward building a culture of life in our country, who believes that marriage should be exclusively between one man and one woman, and who intends to nominate “strict constructionists” to the federal courts and, should the opportunity arise, the United States Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has apparently not followed the results of any election save his own. The fact that 80% of citizens who based their decision on moral values voted for President Bush seems to have escaped him. Furthermore, Senator Specter, a consistent advocate for the pro-abortion lobby, would very likely have lost his seat in the primary to Rep. Pat Toomey, who had the support of pro-life Pennsylvanians and almost defeated Specter, had President Bush not gone to Pennsylvania to campaign for him along with Pennsylvania’s other Senator, Rick Santorum. Pro-lifers were first incredulous and then angry that Bush and Santorum supported Specter, especially because he is in line for the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. Did Bush and Santorum think that Specter would be so grateful for their support that he would refrain from torpedoing Bush’s judicial nominees? Judging by Specter’s actions yesterday, expressing gratitude is far from his mind.

An AP story by Lara Jakes Jordan (11/4/04) reports that Senator Specter, in a statement issued on Wednesday, “bluntly warned newly re-elected President Bush against putting forth Supreme Court nominees who would seek to overturn abortion rights or are otherwise too conservative to win confirmation. ‘When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely,' Specter said, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.”

" 'The president is well aware of what happened, when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster,’ Specter added, referring to Senate Democrats’ success over the past four years in blocking the confirmation of many of Bush’s conservative judicial picks. . . . ‘And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning.’”

The AP story quotes legal scholar Dennis Hutchinson who said Specter’s message to the White House appears to be “a way of asserting his authority” as he prepares to chair the Judiciary Committee.

Asserting his authority? On the contrary, Specter’s words constitute a direct threat to President Bush that he better not send up any nominee who doesn’t pass the pro-abortion litmus test of the Senator from Pennsylvania, the man who played a big role in killing President Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and of Jeff Sessions to a federal bench.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said Wednesday that he is confident that “we will be able to overturn what has become customary filibuster of judicial nominees,” now that Republican representation in the Senate has gone from 51 to 55 seats. But that will largely depend on whether Specter actually becomes Judicary Committee chairman.

Although most have considered it a foregone conclusion that Arlen Specter would become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Utah Senator Orrin Hatch leaves the post, it doesn’t have to happen. The Senate will hold an election for that and other committee chairmanships in the coming days. Why would the Republican leadership allow the gains made on election day to be sabotaged by a person who is so out of touch with the mainstream of the Republican Party and the nation as a whole?

Please contact Senator Frist at 202/224-3344 to urge him to stop Senator Specter from becoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee. While you are on the phone, call Senator Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, 202/224-2934 to encourage him to do whatever it takes to allow President Bush’s judicial nominees to have a fair shot at confirmation.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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