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Excerpts from Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)

"This hearing presents a unique opportunity, perhaps, to have questions answered which have not been answered in the past. The article which you authored for the Chicago Law Review back in 1995 is openly and specifically critical of Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, who, as you characterize it, stonewalled. You criticized the Judiciary Committee, and I think properly so, as lacking seriousness and substance in our approach to the hearings. And you use the phrase that the confirmation process "takes on an air of vacuity and farce." "

"The court, regrettably, I think, has become an ideological battleground. And the activism is on both sides. As a prosecutor in the 1960s, I watched the Constitution change virtually daily: search and seizure, Mapp, 1961; right to counsel, Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963; Miranda, 1966, activism. "

"The Congress has the authority to direct the Supreme Court on cases which must be heard, flag burning case, McCain-Feingold and many, many others, so that the court's discretion is limited there if there is a congressional direction.

I think it is fair, from that proposition, to ask a nominees whether they would -- would take cases. I spoke at length on the floor about what I consider the inappropriate decline of a number of cases considered. "

By Emi Kolawole  |  June 28, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
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