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Specter Waffling on Dawn Johnsen Cloture

By Matthew Yglesias on May 15, 2009 at 10:29 am

"Specter Waffling on Dawn Johnsen Cloture"

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Greg Sargent reports that Arlen Specter is now indicating he might vote for cloture on Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to head up the Office of Legal Counsel, though he’d still vote “no” on the final confirmation.

This is a very interesting political development, but it still leaves us with an entirely unanswered question: what’s the reason for Specter’s opposition to Johnsen? The objection opponents have raised is that she’s somehow too stridently pro-choice. But Specter’s pro-choice. And always has been, even as a Republican. When Specter initially made his opposition to Johnsen known, the reason was that he was trying to fend off a primary challenge from Pat Toomey by embracing all manner of wingnuttery. What’s the reason now? Why can’t a pro-choice Democratic Senator vote “yes” on a pro-choice Democratic President’s nomination of a pro-choice Democrat to a Justice Department position?

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