Deal reached on Olson nomination
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MAY 21, 2001

Democrats unhappy with the testimony of Theodore B. Olson, President Bush's pick to be Solicitor General at the Department of Justice, will be able to conduct a limited bipartisan inquiry into the extent of his involvement in an anti-Clinton magazine project.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had turned down a Democrat request for an investigation after testimony Olson gave conflicted with others. Democrats then voted against sending his nomination to the full Senate, leading to a 9-9 stalemate at committee.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) then said he'd use his powers to bring it to the Senate floor himself. But Hatch and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the committee's ranking Democrat, agreed to hold an inquiry.

Unless there is something incredible revealed during the investigation, Olson's nomination is unlikely to be derailed. All Republicans are expected to vote for him and Democratic Senator Zell Miller (Ga.) on Friday said he'd vote for Olson, too.

As Solicitor General, Olson would represent the United States and tribes before the Supreme Court and also be the one who normally decides what cases the nation will pursue before the Court.

Olson represented Bush on the election cases last fall. He also argued successfully the case of Harold "Freddy" Rice, whose challenge to Native Hawaiian programs in Hawaii has lead to widespread changes in the state.

Miguel Estrada, one of Olson's partners at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, was nominated by President George W. Bush to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Get the Story:
GOP Backers Defend Bush Nominee Olson (The Washington Post 5/21)
Nominee Olson to Be Subject of Limited Inquiry (The Washington Post 5/19)

Relevant Links:
American Spectator -
Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher -

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