Friday, November 19, 2004

Specter Likely to Get Judiciary Chairmanship

Over the last week or so pro-lifers have been working to stop Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter from becoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the wake of his warnings to President Bush against appointing conservative or pro-life judges. Senator Specter has tried to wiggle and spin his way out of this, but Specter's track record and commitment to abortion-on-demand are well documented.

In spite of the outcry of pro-lifers and other conservatives, it now appears that Senate Republicans are preparing to give Specter the Judiciary chairmanship. In fact, one Republican senator, Robert Bennett of Utah, characterized pro-life opposition to Specter as a "tempest in a teapot." Remember that senator's name and his remark, people. We may need to remind that senator, and his Republican colleagues, who put them in office.

Before the election, a number of "Catholics for Kerry" derided pro-life Catholics for supporting President Bush and the Republicans, saying that the Republicans weren't really serious about opposing abortion. While their conclusion that it was therefore OK to vote for "the candidate of the abortion industry itself" was incorrect, the current behavior of the Senate Republicans leads one to believe they may have been right about a lack of seriousness regarding opposition to abortion.

Peggy Noonan, whom I ordinarily admire and respect, suggests in her column yesterday that pro-lifers and other conservatives need to just "shhhhhh!" about Sen. Specter and the judicial appointment issue. Apparently she thinks we need to just sit back quietly and trust the Republicans to do the right thing on pro-life issues.

Sorry, but I won't hush up, and neither will a lot of pro-life Catholics. I trust no earthly powers or authorities, even those with (R) after their name. The only thing I trust is results. The Republicans have been talking a good pro-life game now for over twenty years, and it is time they delivered. If they don't, it's very simple: The next election cycle, I'm done with them. I won't be played.

So, we need to prod these senators once more into remembering their commitment to defense of the unborn. If they want to retain the trust and support of pro-lifers and Catholics, putting a man implacably hostile to our cause in the judiciary committee chairmanship is not the way to do it.

If you haven't called or written Republican senators to express your opposition to Senator Specter, now is a good time to do so. If you have already, do it again! The only thing that will work is to keep up the pressure, to not let this "tempest in a teapot" fade away.

Call these Republican members of the judiciary committee:

Hatch (202) 224-5251
Grassley (202)224.3744
Kyl (202) 224-4521
DeWine (202) 224-2315
Sessions (202) 224-4124
Graham (202) 224-5972
Craig 202/224-2752
Chambliss (202) 224-3521
Cornyn 202-224-2934

You can get more info here, and look up your senator's contact info at

Thanks to Mark Shea and Dom Bettinelli for links and other info.