The Senate Judiciary Committee split along party lines yesterday on the nomination of Right-Wing lawyer Theodore B. Olson for Solicitor General*. Democrats objected to Olson’s nomination on the grounds that Olson is suspected of giving false or misleading testimony in several cases, including one where he denied involvement in the American Spectator’s “Arkansas-Project” to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s activities in Arkansas. Project accounting records show payments to Olson’s law firm exceeding $14 thousand in 1994.
Olson has argued to uphold gender discrimination against women in the Virginia Military Institute (loss), to strike down the University of Texas’s affirmative action policy (win), and to stop the counting of Florida ballots in last year’s election (win). Olson is a leader of the Federalist Society in Washington, DC and served as George Bush’s attorney before the Supreme Court in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election. Olson’s wife, Barbara, has waged a public campaign against the Clintons and is the author of a best-selling diatribe against Hillary Clinton, “Hell to Pay.”
*The Solicitor General represents the United States in cases brought before the Supreme Court. The US government is involved in about two-thirds of Supreme Court cases, making the Solicitor General a key player in the Justice system. The position is sometimes referred to as “the Tenth Justice.”