Tags: Senate | Confirms | Olson | Solicitor | General

Senate Confirms Olson as Solicitor General

Thursday, 24 May 2001 12:00 AM

The nearly party-line vote reflected Democrat claims that Olson had not been candid with the Senate about his possible involvement in the anti-Clinton Arkansas Project.

Two Democrats - Georgia's Sen. Zell Miller and Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson - joined the 49 Republicans to confirm Olson as the top government attorney to represent Americans before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans said Olson's outstanding qualifications as an attorney qualified him.

"He deserves this job and he deserves to not have politics played with this position," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Olson is a prominent Republican attorney who successfully argued Bush vs. Gore, the Supreme Court case that decided the outcome of last year's bitterly contested election in Florida.

Democrats had delayed the nomination for several weeks as the Senate Judiciary Committee investigated Olson's ties to Arkansas Project, an effort - underwritten to the tune of several million dollars by foundations under the control of conservative millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife - to unearth damaging information about the Clintons and their associates in their home state of Arkansas, and publish it in American Spectator magazine.

Before the vote on Thursday, Democrats said that a "bipartisan" investigation over the past week had showed that Olson had tried to minimize those ties and provide the Senate with legally correct but "potentially misleading" statements to portray those ties as irrelevant.

"At the outset I raised with Mr. Olson my concern that his sharp partisanship over the last several years might not be something he could leave behind," said Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "After a review of his testimony ... I've become doubly concerned that Mr. Olson has not shown a willingness or ability to be sufficiently candid and forthcoming with the Senate."

Two senators - Jim Jeffords, R-Vt., and John D. Rockerfeller, D-W.V. - failed to vote.

No Republicans voted against the nomination.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The nearly party-line vote reflected Democrat claims that Olson had not been candid with the Senate about his possible involvement in the anti-Clinton Arkansas Project. Two Democrats - Georgia's Sen. Zell Miller and Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson - joined the 49 Republicans to...
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2001-00-24
Thursday, 24 May 2001 12:00 AM
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