Scalia Nomination Clears Subcommittee

October 17, 2001 ( - In a big setback to organized labor, the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee voted 11-10 in favor of the nomination of Eugene Scalia as the Labor Department's top lawyer.
The nomination will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Unions had lobbied intensely to defeat Scalia, a Washington labor lawyer and son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, because of his opposition to Clinton-era ergonomics regulations (see Bush Nominates Scalia as Solicitor of Labor ).   Republicans have defended those views, noting that a majority of Congress agreed with Scalia’s position — demonstrated by the repeal of the rules last March.

Senator Jim Jeffords (I-Vermont) tipped the balance in the party-line vote.

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As labor solicitor, Scalia would be charged with enforcing nearly 200 labor laws. He would provide legal advice and guidance on virtually every initiative of the department in areas such as safety and health, minimum wage and pension security.

– Nevin Adams