Funny; I vividly remember Specter's dishonesty in his questioning of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas when he was carrying water for the Thomas nomination. I wonder if anyone will point out to Specter that his shameful actions helped put onto the bench the fifth vote for the anti-Congress decisions Specter now reviles?
Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was told by the Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman Monday that lawmakers are irate about the Court's "disrespectful statements about Congress' competence" and by its interference with congressional power....
Specter called the limiting of Congress' authority "the hallmark agenda of the judicial activism of the Rehnquist Court."
"I do see a great deal of popular and congressional dissatisfaction with the judicial activism; and at the minimum, the Senate's determination to confirm new justices who will respect Congress' constitutional role," Specter said....
In one case Specter cited, U.S. v. Lopez, the high court in 1995 threw out a federal law that banned possession of a gun within 1,000 feet of a school, saying Congress lacked the authority to enact it. In U.S. v. Morrison, the Supreme Court in 2000 threw out part of the federal Violence Against Women Act, saying rape victims could not sue their attackers in federal court because it was up to the states -- not Congress -- to give such help to women victimized by violence.
In both cases, Congress said its power to regulate interstate commerce gave it the ability to pass the laws. The Court disagreed.
Lawmakers have bristled at those two decisions, which Specter said "overturned almost 60 years of Congress' power under the Commerce Clause."
*Footnote: My own view is that, although the various opinions in the Morrison case did focus on the Commerce Clause, an even clearer source of federal power to pass the Violence Against Women Act was section 5 of the 14th Amendment.