Senator James Jeffords’ party switch to become Independent overshadowed the Senate vote on Ted Olson, who was confirmed as U.S. Solicitor General last night. “Once again, the Democrats are showing that they have enough votes to filibuster right-wing nominees to federal appointments, but chose not to in Olson’s case,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “The extremely close 51-47 vote shows a willingness to stand up for principle, and represents an increase since the Ashcroft vote, when only 42 Senators voted against the conservative nominee,” Smeal continued. As the fight for the Supreme Court nominees approaches, Smeal suggested, pro-choice and women’s rights advocates can be hopeful that the struggle is winnable.
Olson, a conservative, anti-women’s rights, anti-affirmative action attorney, is well-known for arguing the Bush v. Gore case before the Supreme Court. He also unsuccessfully argued a case on behalf of the Virginia Military Institute and its policy of sex discrimination.
For more information on Ted Olson, please see the Feminist Daily News: May 21