It's Nice to Have Specter as Chairman

Conservatives, including me, grumbled and wrote about liberal Sen. Arlen Specter’s ascent to chairman of the Judiciary Committee in November 2004. But after observing his clash with Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) this afternoon, I’m glad he’s at the helm.

The former Philadelphia prosecutor didn’t mince words when he told Kennedy to calm down and get back in line. Kennedy, as my colleague Amanda Carpenter wrote about earlier, was demanding a vote to subpoena records related to Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

Kennedy, visibly shaking as he spoke, told Specter he wanted to move to executive session. He cited a letter he wrote to Specter in December. Specter and Kennedy then engaged in a back-and-forth about sending and receiving mail. When all was said and done, it appeared Specter was suggesting he never received it.

As it stands now, it’s unclear how Specter will proceed. But what he did make clear is that he’s running the committee, not Kennedy.