Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party two months ago, praised President Barack Obama’s selection Tuesday of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.
Specter not only praised Obama's choice of Sotomayor, but also urged the Senate to give her a full and fair confirmation process, according to a statement on his Web site.
"I applaud the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court,” Specter writes. “Her confirmation would add needed diversity in two ways: the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court."
Specter added: "While [Sotomayor’s] record suggests excellent educational and professional qualifications, now it is up to the Senate to discharge its constitutional duty for a full and fair confirmation process."
Specter, a six-term incumbent in the U.S. Senate, admits he now is more favorable to the selection of Sotomayor than he probably would have been in his previous role as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Pat Toomey, Specter’s challenger for the Senate in 2010, told The New York Times Tuesday that he, too, applauds the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
“Her confirmation would add needed diversity in two ways: the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court,” Toomey told The Times.
“For the past twenty years, the Supreme Court confirmation process has very regrettably become a political football,” Toomey added. “Arlen Specter has played those political games more aggressively than most, arguing against Judge [Robert] Bork and for Justice [Clarence] Thomas, depending on Specter’s calculation of his own political needs. That approach is bad for our country.”
Toomey added it would be “wrong for Republicans to oppose Judge Sotomayor on a partisan basis,” and conceded she deserved a fair hearing.
“If that hearing proves her to be of sound judicial temperament with the requisite knowledge of and respect for the Constitution,” he said, “then she should be confirmed.”
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