Specter Speaks of Roe's Litmus Test
On January 28, 2001, Senator Arlen Specter was interviewed by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's Booknotes. Although he might now have forgotten, Arlen mentioned his abortion litmus test [the transcript]:
LAMB: Can this president, George W. Bush, get somebody through the process up there to get on the Supreme Court in the next four years? Is it possible?
Sen. SPECTER: He can, providing they are not going to dismantle a—a woman's right to choose. If they're going to dismantle a woman's right to choose, I believe the Senate is going to be a lot tougher on asking questions about matters that are going to come before the court.
That is Arlen telling Brian that he will apply his litmus test to protect Roe v. Wade.
And should a nominee fail Arlen's test? The transcript continues:
LAMB: If they won't answer that question if they come before you, would you vote for them?
Sen. SPECTER: Well, I'm seriously considering that. In light of what's happened in the intervening time, I'm supporting Ashcroft, have supported him. But the family planning money overseas is now in jeopardy in a very controversial, contentious issue. And if there's a sense that there's going to be an effort to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and this is something I want to talk to others about, my inclination would be to insist on answers and assurances and to withhold
confirmation absent that
If a nominee does not pledge allegiance to Roe, he will not get Arlen's vote. And he most certainly would not then receive Arlen's support as chairman. (A strong pro-life nominee is going to need all the GOP support he can get.)
The big about overseas family planning funds is another demerit for Arlen. One of a growing list.
[HT, Free Republic]