The person who arguably knows as much as anyone in the U.S. Senate about counting votes and judicial confirmation battles has some advice for President Barack Obama:
Pick a U.S. Supreme Court nominee without regard to a possible Republican procedural roadblock known as a filibuster.
Senator Arlen Specter said Obama also needs to make his selection understand that the nation’s highest court is an ideological battleground that has moved sharply to the right in recent years.
In a Senate speech on Monday, Specter said he believes there will be the 60 votes needed in the 100-member Senate to end any filibuster against Obama’s upcoming pick to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, the court’s leading liberal.
“As divisive as the Senate has become and as partisan as the Senate has become, I believe there are 60 votes in this chamber to reject the concept of a filibuster,” Specter said.