Unless something extraordinary happens, liberal Sen. Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) will succeed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) as Senate Judiciary Chairman next year (if Specter wins reelection). This worries conservatives because Specter, who is pro-Roe v. Wade, helped scuttle President Reagan’s nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987.
One scenario for stopping Specter envisions Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa), who is now Finance chairman, taking Judiciary instead. Grassley has seniority over Specter, but would have to relinquish his Finance chairmanship before taking Judiciary. He had “thought about it a lot,” Grassley told HUMAN EVENTS last week, but decided against it. Such a move, he said, would disrupt all the work he’s done so far on tax and finance issues. “It would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money for me, after doing all this work on Finance, to step aside,” he said. “Then we’d have to start all over again.”