Republican Senator Arlen Specter is said to be "fuming" over the endorsement of his Democratic opponent in the recent U.S. Senate race by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), according to the New York Blade, a homosexual newspaper.
HRC, the nation's largest homosexual lobbying group, endorsed Democrat Congressman Joseph Hoeffel this August. Specter had narrowly won his Republican primary against conservative Rep. Patrick Toomey and was hoping for support from HRC.
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It was Specter's vote in July to send the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Senate floor that nixed the homosexual group's endorsement, even though Specter publicly clarified that he would have voted against it if it had come up for a floor vote.
Cheryl Jacques, executive director of HRC, said she had "no regrets" over snubbing Specter. "You don’t get to play Monday morning quarterback. We stand by a solid commitment to records and equality. Those who support discrimination into the Constitution don’t deserve our support. I expect that if Sen. Specter becomes the chair of the Judiciary Committee we will work with him. I hope he is focused on a fair-minded judiciary and policy for this country and I hope that he comes to regret his vote."
Specter is in line to become chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee – a position many conservatives in his party want to deny him because of his support for abortion, hate crimes legislation and opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. With President Bush expected to fill several vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court during his term, all sides are focusing on who holds this position.
In 1986, it was Specter who led the successful fight against Reagan nominee, Robert Bork. Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence vs. Texas, overturning U.S. sodomy laws, took his place.