Vote Near On Scalia's Nomination

Expect a vote sometime next week by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on President George W. Bush's controversial nomination of Eugene Scalia to solicitor general of the U.S. Labor Dept. Scalia's nomination is harshly opposed by Democrats because of Scalia's stated opposition to the since-repealed ergonomics safety standard put into effect in the waning days of the Clinton Administration. "His writings . . . suggest that his views are outside the mainstream on many issues of vital importance to the nation's workers and their families," said Committee chairman Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, (D, Mass.) during the nomination hearings earlier this week. Scalia, who would be in charge of enforcing the nation's labor laws and providing guidance on every Labor Dept. initiative, admitted during the hearing that he has represented just two workers in his 10-year labor law career. Senate insiders suggest that the vote of Republican-turned-independent Sen. James Jeffords, Vt. -- who was not present at the hearing -- will cast the deciding vote.

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