Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to the Demcratic Party could mean Chuck Grassley (R-IA)’s ascension to top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says TalkingPointsMemo.com. Grassley, 75, is a farmer who does not have a law degree. Republican Party rules bar former Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) from re-claiming the top spot.
Other possibilities as Republican ranking member are Jeff Sessions (AL), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Admintstrative Oversight and the Courts, and Jon Kyl (AZ). Kyl’s promotion is seen as unlikely because he would have to give up a job as GOP whip, a member of the Republican leadership.