Stop Arlen Specter

Contact Your Senators
— Ask them to oppose naming anti-gun Sen. Arlen Specter as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman

You would have thought John Kerry had won an astounding Electoral College victory, rather than George W. Bush.

But, within 24 hours after the presidential results were in, there was the Senate Judiciary Committee heir-apparent, Pennsylvania liberal Republican Arlen Specter, warning Bush not to make conservative nominations to the U.S. Supreme court.

The “code words” used by Specter centered around abortion, but the message was clear: “No pro-gun conservatives need apply.”

Said Specter:

That is my view, now, before, and always. … The president is well aware of what happened, when a bunch of his [conservative, pro-gun] nominees were sent up, with the filibuster… I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning…

Yes, this is the same Specter who GOA opposed in the Pennsylvania Senate primary earlier this year, when he was being challenged by an A-rated congressman, Pat Toomey. (GOA was the ONLY national gun lobby to support Toomey.)

This is the same Specter who has opposed your gun rights over the last several years. To be sure, this is the Specter who:

* Cosponsored legislation in 1991 to make it a FELONY to possess any magazine that holds more than 15 rounds (S. 635).

* Voted FOR the crime bill (HR 3355) which contained the Clinton semi- auto ban in 1994.

* Voted FOR the Incumbent Protection Act in 2002 to prevent groups like the NRA and GOA from criticizing public officials in the electronic media up to 60 days before an election (HR 2356).

This is also the same Specter who voted AGAINST arming the nation’s pilots in September 2002. Amazingly, he was one of only SIX senators who voted against this bill. Even anti-gun Senators John Kerry and John Edwards voted right!

Specter has shown his true anti-gun colors over his career in the U.S. Senate, and now he is next in line to be the chairman of the all- powerful Judiciary Committee which controls judicial nominations — not to mention gun control legislation.

The last thing we need is for pro-gun Supreme Court nominees to be blocked by a Republican Chairman.

But there is good news: There is no Senate rule which guarantees Specter the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee — where he can block Bush’s nominees from even getting a Senate vote. The new chairman will be chosen, first, by a majority of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and, then, by a majority of all Senate Republicans.

Thus, it is well within the rights of Senate Republicans to award the Judiciary Committee post to current-chairman Orrin Hatch, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, Arizona’s Jon Kyl, or Alabama’s Jeff Sessions. Any of these men would presumably support Bush’s conservative pro-gun nominees, rather than opposing them.

ACTION: Contact your Republican senator(s). Ask him or her to vote against naming anti-gun Senator Arlen Specter as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Please visit the GOA Legislative Action Center at and look up your Senator(s) contact information. Just plug in your zip code under “Elected Officials,” and then use the pre-written message below to call, fax or email your Senator(s).

NOTE: Because committee chairmanships are effectively decided by the majority party, only Republican Senators need to receive this letter below. Newly elected Republican Senators are not yet included in the GOA Legislative Action Center, however, you can contact them using the following information:

FL — Mel Martinez, fax: 407-897-8595 or 305-443-3611
GA — Johnny Isakson, email: [email protected]
LA — David Vitter, fax: 202-225-0739
NC — Richard Burr, email: [email protected]
OK — Tom Coburn, fax: 918-294-8380 or 580-353-1978
SC — Jim DeMint, fax: 202-226-1177
SD — John Thune, fax: 605-221-1021 or email: [email protected]

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Senator:

Less than 24 hours after the presidential election, Arlen Specter was warning George Bush not to nominate pro-gun conservatives for the two to four anticipated slots expected to be available on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The last thing we need is for pro-gun Supreme Court nominees to be blocked by a Republican senator who votes like a Democrat.

Please do what you can to stop Arlen Specter from being named as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.