( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
According to the AP, Arlen Specter’s son reports his father has passed away this morning from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, at the age of 82. The outspoken Pennsylvania Senator was known as a centrist Republican at a time when his party was swinging to the hard right, and in 2009, became a Democrat. He then lost the Democratic primary in 2010, ending a 30 year career in public service. Specter had previously survived a brain tumor and a cardiac arrest following surgery.
From the AP’s obituary:
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82…
Specter rose to prominence in the 1960s as an aggressive Philadelphia prosecutor and as an assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, developing the single-bullet theory that posited just one bullet struck both President Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally – an assumption critical to the argument that presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The theory remains controversial and was the focus of Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK.”
In 1987, Specter helped thwart the Supreme Court nomination of former federal appeals Judge Robert H. Bork – earning him conservative enemies who still bitterly refer to such rejections as being “borked.”
But four years later, Specter was criticized by liberals for his tough questioning of Anita Hill at Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination hearings and for accusing her of committing “flat-out perjury.” The nationally televised interrogation incensed women’s groups and nearly cost him his seat in 1992.