Arlen Specter (1930-2012)

Senator (R-Pennsylvania)

Arlen Specter was a United States Senator for Pennsylvania who served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs committees.

Arlen Specter’s five terms made him the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania’s history. A voice of reason, his independence and balance won him endorsements from the AFL-CIO and high marks from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (100% in 2006), the National Association of Manufacturers (86% in 2006), and the Americans for Tax Reform (90% in 2006).

Time Magazine listed him among the ten best Senators in 2006.  Knowlegis rated him the second most powerful Senator in 2006 behind only Majority Leader Bill Frist. A November 11, 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer editorial stated: “Senator Arlen Specter has more clout than some sovereign nations.”

Born to Russian immigrant parents in Wichita, Kansas, Specter was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. 


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