Specter and Schumer on ABC's This Week

Steph spoke to "man of the hour" Arlen Specter and New York Dem Chuckie Schumer, and was Schumer selected in order to give Arlen the artificial guise of conservatism?

Steph asked Specter if he had enough support to become chairman of Senate Judic. "It would be unwise for me to speak for my colleagues." Specter repeated that he's "never had a litmus test," voted for Rehnquist, Scalia, and O'Conner, and "almost lost my Senate seat" for supporting Clarence Thomas. [In the 1992 Senate race, following his questioning of Anita Hill, Arlen defeated Democrat Lynn Yeakel but garnered less than 50-percent of the vote. This was the "Year of the Woman," when Yeakel was riding Bill Clinton's coattails. At the time, Specter was more concerned with his primary opponent, pro-life State Representative Steve Friend and securing the Republican vote in the conservative middle of the commonwealth. –ed.]

Schumer defined a Strict Constructionist as someone who wanted to "roll back the Constitution to the 1930s or the 1890s," going literally by what was writ by the Constitution's framers. [Who wrote in the late 1780s, unmentioned by Chuck. –m.] He decried this, but later cited the Federalist Papers in attempting to defend the Democrat filibuster of judicial nominees. Evidently taking counsel from his party's recent failed Presidential nominee, Schumer opposed referencing the Framers before he supported it.

Schumer says he wants judges who will interpret the law, not make it. I assume this is now that he's got Roe on the books.

Schumer said he would examine the nomination of a Clarence Thomas, but admitted that Thomas was "one of the few judges who want to roll back the clock to the 1930s or 1890s."

Schumer defended the filibuster. Specter attacked him for this.

Schumer derided the nuclear option. [Steph defined this as having the Senate parliamentarian rule that the filibuster was usable only against legislation, not against judicial nominations. –ed.] He said, "It's almost like a banana republic. … That would make the last Senate look like a very nice tea party." [But who now clearly owns the tea, Chuck? –ed.]

Specter said that it would be a way to get the nominations passed.

Schumer argued that 201 of 211 Presidential judicial nominees had been confirmed. He called the remaining ten were "extremists." [Actually, they were targeted as defeatable by the special interests. – ed.]

Good show, wearing disguises, by Specter. Chuck's Chuck.



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