Thursday, November 18, 2004

Specter Wins Support for Chairmanship

November 18, 2004

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Sen. Arlen Specter on Thursday won the support of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Republicans to be their chairman next year, surviving complaints from abortion opponents who lobbied to skip over him in favor of a conservative.

"I have assured the president that I would give his nominees quick committee hearings and early committee votes," Specter said at a news conference where outgoing chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the panel's Republican were unanimous in backing the Pennsylvania moderate.

"I have no reason to believe that I'll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy" of the federal bench, Specter told reporters.

He read from a statement he wrote that was cleared painstakingly in advance by committee members as well as the GOP leadership, who are determined to confirm Bush's second-term nominees, possibly including a Supreme Court vacancy.

Even so, Specter said he felt no pressure to make the commitments he made.

By JESSE J. HOLLAND Associated Press Writer

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