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    Concern About Arlen Specter Comes Too Late

    Published: Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Many conservatives are fuming over soon-to-be Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter's remarks regarding his intention to defeat any attempt (if there were to actually be any) to place pro-life justices on the United States Supreme Court. This is curious indeed, because it was the hero of the religious right, President George W. Bush, who was the one who helped Senator Specter win reelection.

    Back in April of this year, the liberal Senator Specter was in the political fight of his life when he was challenged by a genuine pro-life conservative by the name of Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania's Republican primary election. In fact, it seemed all but certain that Toomey would successfully unseat the far-left Specter. Enter President Bush.

    On the eve of the primary election, President Bush personally campaigned for Specter and with the weight and influence of the White House secured Specter's reelection. Yet, everyone, including President Bush, knew how liberal Arlen Specter was.

    Senator Specter is as liberal as just about any Democrat one could name. He never met a spending bill he didn't support (of course, neither has G.W. Bush). He supports abortion-on-demand and federal funding for it. He supports human cloning, quotas, and just about every other liberal piece of legislation ever introduced.

    On the other hand, Pat Toomey was a proven conservative. He was hailed as a "taxpayer superhero," according to Citizens Against Government Waste. He was a supply-side tax-cutter, according to National Review. He was opposed to abortion and human cloning and sided himself strongly with social conservatives.

    However, in spite of Arlen Specter's extreme liberal record and Pat Toomey's impressive conservative record, President Bush personally saw to it that Specter held the Pennsylvania Senate seat.

    This is doubly curious because President Bush had to know that Mr. Specter was in line to sit as the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Of course, this is the committee that must approve the president's nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court. Surely, Mr. Bush was aware that without Specter's support, he could not get a pro-life nominee approved by the Senate.

    So, where was the religious right when President Bush was helping Arlen Specter win reelection? Why do they wait until now to howl against the liberal Senator from Pennsylvania? And why do they give President Bush a pass for single handedly giving the election to the radically liberal Specter?

    Just about every conservative that I have spoken to who supported G.W. Bush told me they did so on the belief that Bush would certainly appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. And with Chief Justice William Rehnquist and other Supreme Court justices close to retirement, they anticipate President Bush being able to stack the bench with pro-life justices. I sure hope they are not holding their breath.

    In the first place, President Bush has always maintained that he has no pro-life litmus test for any judge he might name to the high court. If he is a man of his word, that promise alone precludes any commitment to a pro-life appointee.

    In the second place, just about everyone inside the Beltway assumes that Bush's first appointment to the Court will be his long time friend from Texas and presidential adviser, Alberto Gonzalez. As President Reagan wanted to be known for appointing the first woman to the Supreme Court and thereby gave us the liberal Sandra Day O'Connor, so, too, G.W. Bush doubtless wants to be known for appointing the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court by selecting Gonzalez.

    The problem is, Gonzalez is anything but pro-life. On those occasions when the life issue came up in Texas, Gonzalez sided with the pro-abortion position. Therefore, a Gonzalez appointment would only add another pro-abortion justice to the Supreme Court.

    In the next place, should a genuine pro-life nominee be sent to the Senate, Arlen Specter would never allow him or her to be approved, and President Bush knew that when he campaigned for Specter. All the concern over Arlen Specter comes too late. That issue was settled April 27 when Specter won the Republican primary election.

    © 2004 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved

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