Conservatives pounced on Specter again this week after learning he had hired two liberal lawyers for the Judiciary Committee staff: Hannibal Kemerer, who was the NAACP’s assistant general counsel, and Carolyn Short, the wife of 2004 Democrat U.S. House candidate Joseph Torsella of Pennsylvania. Both hires were made before Specter brought aboard conservative chief counsel Michael O’Neill, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas. O’Neill, who taught law at George Mason University, has retained Pete Jensen to be the committee’s point man on judicial nominations. Jensen held the same job when Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) ran the committee.
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