For those who don't know, I'm a law school grad who immediately went to work in public policy and then on to academia. Never wanted to sue anybody, don't you know? Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am an avid court watcher.
In the controversy over what to do about Arlen Specter, I have to side with Hugh Hewitt. Specter is not a conservative's conservative, but he has been willing to support conservative appointees to the court. Having him as the judiciary chairman will make it easier to avoid protracted battles over Supreme Court nominees. To some extent, Senators in the middle will feel that nominees okay with Specter are okay with them. Conversely, if Specter is removed, prepare to hear about how the process is now illegitimate. That's the last thing we want to hear, especially when shaping an institution like the court.
The way to go is to leave Specter in and nominate conservative legal giants like Michael McConnell and Alex Kosinzki. They are too prominent to fail the process and have avoided any excessive rhetoric.