Senator Arlen Specter, the 29-year Senate veteran from Pennsylvania, announced today that he was changing his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. In a statement, he said, "Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans." One motivating reason: Specter is lagging behind a challenger in the Republican primary. President Obama told Specter, "You have my full support. [We're] thrilled to have you," and now the Democrats have a near-filibuster-proof majority—they'll have it, if Al Franken is ever seated in Minnesota. The GOP, reportedly caught off-guard, is calling an emergency meeting. SFGate points out that Specter's "legacy as former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was seating [the] two conservative Supreme Court justices...Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito."