[JURIST] After a tense two-hour meeting Tuesday evening, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) appears to have won the support of some important GOP peers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, seemingly securing the committee chairmanship that will open when term limits force the resignation of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in January. Specter's comments cautioning President Bush against the appointment of anti-abortion Supreme Court justices ignited controversy recently, with some conservative groups and religious organizations calling for GOP leaders to block Specter's ascension to the chairmanship. Following Tuesday's meeting, Hatch affirmed his support for Specter as his replacement, and stated that he expects his five-term Senate colleague to have the support of the committee. The Pennsylvania Republican is expected to release a statement reassuring conservatives of his support for the president's judicial nominees. Knight-Ridder has more. See a previous story on JURIST's Paper Chase detailing the backlash over Specter's comments.