U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter told the Pennsylvania Press Club this afternoon that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up cases involving warrantless wiretapping conducted during President Bush's administration. That's a line he's been using a lot since it became clear President Obama was going to need a replacement for Senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who will retire this year. Specter told the Daily News editorial board two weeks ago that the U.S. Congress should pass legislation compelling the court, which he said was ducking the issue, to take up cases on warrantless wiretapping.
Specter, speaking at the group's monthly luncheon in Harrisburg, said he might condition his approval of a replacement on their willingness to consider the topic from the bench, according to the Associated Press.
Specter's Democratic primary election opponent, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, issued a news release today asking if Specter is "fit to serve" based on his performance in previous confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices. The release, which cites Specter's well-known interrogation of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings, claims the five-term senator "has consistently used his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee for his own political survival and personal gain."