The Washington Post reports:
Former senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s most durable political figures who during three decades in the Senate became known for his command of constitutional law, died of cancer on Sunday at his home in Philadelphia. He was 82.
The death was confirmed by Scott Hoeflich, Sen. Specter’s former chief of staff.
Sen. Specter was long a voice of Republican moderation, but he handed Democrats a supermajority in the Senate by switching parties in 2009. He lost the Democratic primary the next year in an anti-incumbency movement that swept many veteran politicians from office. He had also exposed himself to charges of political opportunism by changing his party allegiance.