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November 10, 2004
Specter Backs Ashcroft for Next Supreme Court Opening
by Scott Ott

(2004-11-10) -- To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his stand on abortion won't stand in the way of President George Bush's federal court nominees, future senate judiciary committee chairman Arlen Specter today said he views departing Attorney General John Ashcroft as the kind of jurist he hopes the president will nominate.

"I'd like to see a Chief Justice Ashcroft," said Mr. Specter, R/D-PA, "In fact, I challenge the president to nominate Ashcroft so I can finally prove my loyalty to this administration and to this party, once and for all."

Mr. Ashcroft, who is an evangelical Christian, has been a lightning rod for criticism by civil liberties advocates because his Justice Department ordered millions of secret wiretaps and sent all of the nation's Muslims to a detention center at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A spokesman for the Attorney General said, "Sen. Specter's support of Mr. Ashcroft's appointment to the Supreme Court comes as no surprise to the Justice Department. The senator has been talking about it privately with his wife, Joan, in the kitchen, and by email, instant message and phone with his best friend for months."

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