After watching Samuel Alito evade answer after answer during his confirmation hearings, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter announced today that he would vote to confirm Alito for the nation's highest court (as if there were ever any doubt how Specter would vote).
Alito refused to answer how he would have voted in Bush v. Gore (even though the case has already come before the court and been resolved). He refused to say whether he thought Roe v. Wade was the settled law of the land (a question that Chief Justice John G. Roberts had no problem answering during his confirmation hearings).
In his book Passion For Truth (released in 2000), Arlen Specter said that the Senate should refuse to confirm nominees who would not answer questions on fundamental issues.
From Passion For Truth, by Senator Arlen Spector:
“The Senate should resist, if not refuse to confirm Supreme Court nominees who refuse to answer questions on fundamental issues. In voting on whether or not to confirm a nominee, senators should not have to gamble or guess about a candidate’s philosophy, but should be able to judge on the basis of the candidate’s expressed views.”