Joe Sestak released this statement on John Paul Stevens and Arlen Specter's role in court confirmations:
"In the 34 years since he was appointed by President Ford, Justice John Paul Stevens has become one of the important justices of his time. As we turn to finding a worthy successor, we should be thankful that Senate Democrats voted unanimous to strip Arlen Specter of his seniority and have made it increasingly clear that he will never again chair the Judiciary Committee, or any other.
"More than anyone, Senator Specter is responsible for the sharp rightward shift of the Supreme Court. He's the one who gave us Clarence Thomas and, in a deal to gain the Judiciary Chairmanship, pledged to 'support any individual President Bush finds worthy.' The result has been Samuel Alito, the activist Roberts Court, and disastrous rulings like Citizens United, which will undermine our democracy by allowing unlimited corporate money in politics.
"Arlen Specter has said that a Senator's most important role is confirming Justices. I agree with his point. That's why we should all be thankful that when Justice Stevens' successor comes before the Senate, Specter won't be wielding the gavel."