Christians And Social Conservatives Call For Arlen Specter To Be Removed From Judiciary Committee As He May Compromise Election Mandate On Moral Values

Nov 5, 2004

Orlando, Florida – On the day of the President’s election victory, Republican Senator Arlen Specter sent an unwise warning to the White House. He stated that the issues which were the most important for American voters this year (abortion and same-sex marriage) would be met with resistance if he were the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a recent press conference, Specter suggested that he may resist any Bush nominee to the bench who opposed abortion, claiming that a woman’s right to choose is “inviolate” and likening a possible overturning of Roe v. Wade to reversing Brown v. Board of Education.

Specter, a moderate who will serve his fifth Senate term in Pennsylvania, spoke brazenly about his presumptive position as Chair and, in essence, turned a blind eye to the very people who secured a second term for President Bush. With so many hotly contested social issues before the electorate such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and even the constitutionality of public displays of the Ten Commandments, the Christian social conservative base of the Republican Party turned out in record numbers to vote in support of preserving moral values.

In the wake of the announcement that Chief Justice William Rehnquist suffers from a grave illness, the importance of appointing Justices who understand the difference between personal opinion and strict construction of the Constitution has become extremely urgent. A transcript of Specter’s recorded interview from November 3 reveals that Specter would oppose a nominee to the Supreme Court who believes, like most scholars do, that the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions have no textual or historical support in the Constitution. Liberty Counsel is joining scores of other conservative groups calling their Senators, and particularly Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, to remove Specter from the Judiciary Committee. The Capital Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. By his own unwise statements, Specter has disqualified himself from serving on that Committee, let alone chairing it.

Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel stated, “Arlen Specter must be removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although Specter tried to back away from his public remarks about not appointing Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, we need an advocate who can weather the battle over the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. We certainly don’t want a muted neutral party, and we won’t accept an adversary. Specter needs to learn the lesson which Tom Daschle learned the hard way – ‘Listen to the values espoused by your constituents, or lose your job.’”