Flanking Specter:

The Arlen Specter-led Senate Judiciary Committee has taken a turn to the right. Conservative Senators Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) and Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.) have been picked to replace conservative Senators Larry Craig (R.-Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (R.-Ga.). The staunch conservatism of all committee Republicans except Specter (R.-Pa.) is expected to put added pressure on the already embattled incoming chairman, who was forced by his conservative GOP colleagues to make a public commitment to support President Bush’s judicial nominees. Republicans will now have 10 members on Judiciary and the Democrats will have 8. Outgoing Sen. John Edwards (D.-N.C.) will not be replaced.