Politics & Policy

What Dewine Can Do

The Ohio Republican can show leadership in opposing Arlen Specter for Judiciary chairman.

Republican senator Mike DeWine of Ohio is a great friend of the pro-life movement. His voting record consistently earns a 100-percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He cosponsors important pro-life legislation, from the famous (the ban on partial-birth abortion) to the currently obscure (Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act). “Mike DeWine is one of the United States Senate’s strongest advocates in supporting efforts to protect the lives of unborn children,” boasts his own website. “He is fighting tirelessly to ensure that those who cannot speak have a voice.”

Today, DeWine is in a unique position to continue fighting tirelessly. As a GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he can do his part to prevent his Republican colleague Arlen Specter, an abortion-rights die-hard, from becoming chairman of the panel that will shape the Supreme Court.

“As a staunch pro-lifer,

Mike DeWine certainly knows

what’s at stake in this latest

controversy surrounding Specter.”

One day after DeWine’s constituents in Ohio played such a vital role in securing a historic victory for President Bush and his effort to develop a “culture of life,” Specter announced his belief that the Roe v. Wade ruling is “inviolate.” He indicated that Supreme Court nominees who don’t share this view shouldn’t be confirmed. Specter has tried to explain his comment away, but what he said was perfectly clear.

This time, however, Specter isn’t just one vote in one hundred, or even just one vote among 19 senators on the Judiciary Committee. According to the current rules of seniority, he is next in line to chair the committee that soon may have a chance to hold the first Supreme Court nomination hearings in more than a decade. But also under the current rules, he won’t accede to this position without the consent of the committee’s other Republican members.

As a staunch pro-lifer, Mike DeWine certainly knows what’s at stake in this latest controversy surrounding Specter. But it’s important that he know that pro-life voters–and, indeed, voters who want judges who will follow the text and history of the Constitution rather than impose liberal policies–want him to block Specter’s elevation. He should know that they will back him up if he fights Specter, including in his own reelection campaign in 2006.

Call his office in Washington, D.C., at (202) 224-2315. Or call his main district office in Columbus, Ohio, at (614) 469-5186. Or send him an e-mail, here.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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