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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Specter Ready to Fight?



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The Hill is reporting that Senator Arlen Specter is angry at Senate Democrats treatment of Leslie Southwick, a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and is ready to fight over the nomination.

Specter has accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) of breaking promises they made regarding Leslie Southwick, President Bush’s pick for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Specter aired his grievance with Reid and Leahy during a private meeting with leading conservative activists late Tuesday afternoon. Specter told those assembled that he was prepared to battle Democrats and asked if they also had an appetite for a fight, according to several people who attended the meeting. The activists assured Specter that they were eager to confront the Democrats on Southwick. . . .

“I’m informed that Senate Majority Leader Reid told McConnell that he would bring [Southwick] to the floor before the Memorial Day recess,” Specter said in an interview. “That was undercut by Judiciary Committee action.”

The story also reports that conservative activists are “rallying around” Specter for going to bat for Bush’s judicial nominees.  



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