BREAKING – Former Senator Arlen Specter Dies At 82
Shanin Specter, son of long serving former Senator Arlen Specter, announced the passing of his father earlier today. Two months ago, Arlen Specter had announced that he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system.
Arlen Specter was an establishment in politics in Washington. His first political assignment was as a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Assassination of President Kennedy. He won his Senate seat originally in 1980. He was a life long Republican until 2009, when he announced he was switching parties, having found the Republican Party having become too ideologically driven.
A strong moderate voice, Senator Specter was a key vote in the passing of the Obama stimulus. He also blocked the nominations for replacement Supreme Court justices, the most notable being Robert Bork, nominated by President George H.W. Bush. He sponsored bills to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, and to require live televising of Supreme Court proceedings.
He lost his seat in the US Senate in 2010 during a strong primary challenge. With his retirement from the Senate, he began a career as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught a class on the relationship between the US Congress and Supreme Court.
His loss is a loss for the nation. He was a true Republican, a member of what once was a proud, and noble group within United States politics.