Friday, November 12, 2004

Senator Cornyn Speaks on Specter

Panel Member Wants Vow From Specter

A conservative member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he could support Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) as chairman of the committee if Specter issued a public statement saying he would not try to block a Supreme Court nominee who opposes abortion rights.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said Specter assured him in a conversation Tuesday he would push for swift up-or-down votes on nominees without regard to their positions on abortion. Cornyn indicated he was satisfied by Specter's comments but wanted them expressed in an official statement. Asked if he thought Specter would get the chairmanship, Cornyn said, 'Today, yes, I do.'

Cornyn also said Specter is seeking a meeting with Republicans on the judiciary panel next week to resolve doubts prompted by his comments last week suggesting that the Senate was unlikely to confirm nominees who would overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Conservatives have flooded the Senate with protests, urging Republicans to reject Specter as chairman."