IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Specter queries White House hopefuls on judges

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter has a suggested question for Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate: Ask the candidates if they support faster confirmation of judicial nominations.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter has a suggested question for Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate: Ask the candidates if they support faster confirmation of judicial nominations.

Specter said Tuesday he sent letters to Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as Republican nominee-in-waiting Sen. John McCain posing that question. He shared the letters with ABC News, sponsor of the debate.

Specter, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, wrote that he wants to take, or "discharge," three appellate court nominations from the committee and bring them straight to the Senate floor for a vote.

"I write to find out how you would vote on the proposed discharge petition, but also, candidly, to focus the public's attention on these nominations," Specter wrote in his April 10 letters.

Specter argued that the three nominations have drawn little substantive opposition.

The nominees he mentions are Peter Keisler, former acting attorney general in the wake of Alberto Gonzales' resignation, to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and two choices for the 4th Circuit: Judge Robert Conrad of North Carolina and Steve Matthews of South Carolina.

The five-term senator, a one-time presidential hopeful himself, signed all three letters, "Good luck!"

___

Associated Press Writer Jesse Holland contributed to this report.