Rejection of Specter, not by the conference
Not only are the anti-aborts trying to prevent Arlen Specter from becoming the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the Gun Owners of America have sent an e-mail alert regarding Pennsylvania's problematic senior Senator. They have taken Specter's warning concerning conservative judges to include pro-2nd Amendment jurists:
The “code words” used by Specter centered around abortion, but the message was clear: “No pro-gun conservatives need apply.”In the e-mail, they ask their membership to contact their States' GOP Senators and urge them to vote NO on Specter for Judiciary Committee chairman.
The full text of the e-mail is on the Free Republic site.
There is a lot of conjecture concerning how one becomes a committee chairman. According to GOP rules instituted when they grabbed the majority in 1995, all Republican members of the Judiciary Committee will vote for the chairman by secret ballot, regardless of seniority. So I stand corrected by research, and Specter is theoretically vulnerable. But seniority is a sometimes nagging tradition which is violated only under the most extreme of circumstances. Inter-party comity is important to the Republican conference.