When a meeting regarding a “mark-up” to the proposed Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage was today moved from a public Senate room to a restricted access room (the “President’s Room”) inside the U.S. Capitol, Russ Feingold objected to the move and had a heated exchange with Arlen Specter, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman.
This is what reportedly happened, according to the Associated Press, after Feingold, upset at the change to a restricted venue, “declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.”
“I don’t need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.
“If you want to leave, good riddance,” Specter finished.
“I’ve enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman,” replied Feingold, D-Wis., who is considering a run for president in 2008. “See ya.”
Specter has said he is “totally opposed” to the amendment, and “later said he would have been willing to hold the session in the usual room had he thought doing so would change votes.” Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the proposed amendment for the week of June 5.
Feingold Comes Out for Gay Marriage [tr]