Specter Set to Chair Judiciary, Equivocal on "Nuclear Option"
Judging from this article, it appears that Senator Arlen Specter's (R-PA) festival of contrition is coming to an end, and he seems to have successfully beat back conservative challenges to his becoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Nevertheless, his position on the most momentous issue affecting judicial nominations- the so called "nuclear option," remaing unclear. The article provides an intriguing indication, however, that this moderate Republican Senator may have been prodded into supporting the option. Specifically, the article notes that "Specter's draft statement says there are precedents that could uphold a change in Senate rules to make it clear that only majority support was needed for a judge's confirmation."
While far from an explicit endorsement of the nuclear option, one must wonder whether Specter's promise not to obstruct the exercise of the option was a prerequisite for his gaining the support of conservative Senators such as Trent Lott.