Sen. Arlen Specter’s half-century in public life will be remembered by many for highlights like his service on the Warren Commission and the leading roles he played in blocking Judge Robert Bork from being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court and preventing Justice Clarence Thomas from meeting the same fate.

But to many lawyers in the Philadelphia area and beyond, Specter will be best remembered as the architect of one of the most prestigious and respected federal benches in the country.

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