By  | 

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is promising that his personal views on abortion won't affect his judicial rulings.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter says that pledge came during an hour-long meeting with Alito Friday morning.

Alito's opposition to abortion surfaced in 20-year-old documents released earlier this week. In one, Alito wrote that he did not believe abortion rights were provided by the Constitution. In the other, he counseled other lawyers in the Justice Department on a strategy to chip away at abortion rights with a goal of overturning the landmark ruling.

Specter says Alito told him he wrote that memo "as an advocate and that his role as a judge would be different."

Specter also told reporters he doesn't think Alito's nomination is in trouble.

Confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin January ninth.