Liberal Sen. Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) won the unanimous backing of the Senate Republican Conference to become Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. Specter set off a conservative grassroots campaign to deny him the chairmanship in November when he suggested he might not support conservative Bush nominees to the federal courts. “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.
Until the vote, Specter’s junior colleague from Pennsylvania, Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum, had kept his distance from Specter, despite serving as a close ally in Specter’s 2004 re-election campaign. Last week, however, Santorum confirmed to HUMAN EVENTS that he, too, had voted for Specter’s ascension.