Fresh off a huge electoral victory, Republican politicians are already struggling to stay unified. Well, some of the outliers are, anyway. Senator Arlen Specter is poised to take over the Senate Judiciary Committee and is threatening to impose his rather leftist philosophy on the President's nominees.

The Republican expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year bluntly warned newly re-elected President Bush today against putting forth Supreme Court nominees who would seek to overturn abortion rights or are otherwise too conservative to win confirmation.

Sen. Arlen Specter, fresh from winning a fifth term in Pennsylvania, also said the current Supreme Court now lacks legal "giants" on the bench.

"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 bunch 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."

This is the kind of crap that made the Republican 51-49 Senate majority so weak last term. If the Senate leaders can't push Specter and Senators Snowe and Chafee into line, these next four years could be just as frustrating as the last four. At least the new 55-45 majority will greatly reduce the value of marginal Republicans.

Update 041104 5:00pm
I'm glad to see Senator Specter deny these accusations.



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