GWEN IFILL: Sen. Specter, it ideology fair game in these hearings, finding out what people actually believe, not just whether they’re fit, as the president has described, and qualified?
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER: Well, the ideology could come into play if it is very, very, very extreme, and we had the situation with Judge Bork. And when he was for original intent, it seemed to me that that was the most extraordinary view of constitutional interpretation of anybody who had ever been nominated.
For example, when the 14th Amendment “Equal Protection” clause was enacted, the galleries in the United States Senate were segregated, blacks on one side and whites on the other. And that’s what those senators meant by their own intent. Well, that kind of an interpretation didn’t apply in modern days, and if you have something which is just way off the boards, I think it is possible, but it has to be really off the boards.