10 Unsuccessful Senate Confirmations


1
Linda Chavez
Linda Chavez withdraws her name from consideration for labor secretary in January 2001.
Linda Chavez withdraws her name from consideration for labor secretary in January 2001.
Mario Tama/AFP/Getty Images

Newly elected president George W. Bush's choice for Labor Secretary when he took office in 2001 turned out to be a contentious one. Bush nominated Linda Chavez, a conservative columnist and author and founder of the Center for Equal Opportunity, who vocally and staunchly opposed organized labor unions.

Chavez's appointment revealed the very active role the media plays in modern politics. Within days of her nomination in January 2001, news reports surfaced of her relationship with a Guatemalan woman she knew was residing in the United States illegally and whom Chavez allowed to live in her home for two years in the early 1990s. The key issue was whether money Chavez had given the woman was charity to help a woman in need, as Chavez alleged, or if it amounted to wages for an illegal immigrant housekeeper [source: Schmitt and McLean]. The issue was never fully resolved. The media spotlight caused Chavez to withdraw her name from consideration one week after she was nominated, blaming the "'search and destroy' politics of Washington" and Democrats seeking retribution after their narrow defeat in the 2000 presidential election [source: CNN].

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

  • Calmes, Jackie. "For a Washington job, be prepared to tell all." New York Times. November 12, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/us/politics/13apply.html?_r=1
  • Cornell University. "United States Constitution, Article II." Accessed December 17, 2008. http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleii.html
  • CNN. "Retribution sank nomination, Chavez says." January 9, 2001. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/01/09/bush.wrap/
  • Greenhouse, Linda. "Bork's nomination is rejected, 58-42; Reagan 'saddened.'" New York Times. October 24, 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/24/politics/24REAG.html
  • The Independent. "Senate rejects Clinton's choice." June 22, 1995. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19950622/ai_n13990046/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1
  • Jehl, Douglas. "Dole suggests Clinton should not force battle on surgeon general nominee." New York Times. February 20, 1995. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE7DB103BF933A15751C0A963958260
  • Jet. "Clinton asks Elders to resign, but she still doesn't regret her masturbation comment." December 26, 1994.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_/ai_16035611
  • Lamar, Jacob V., et al. "Defining the real Robert Bork." Time. August 24, 1987. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,965277,00.html
  • Schmitt, Eric and McLean, Renwick. "Onetime illegal immigrant sheltered by Chavez recalls painful past." New York Times. February 8, 2001. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0DEFDF1431F93BA35751C0A9679C8B63
  • Snider, L. Britt. "The Senate confirmation process." Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/agency-and-the-hill/14-The%20Agency%20and%20the%20Hill_Part2-Chapter11.pdf
  • Townhall. "Linda Chavez's biography." Accessed December 17, 2008. http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/LindaChavez/2002
  • Tushnett, Mark V. "A Court Divided." W.W. Norton and Company. 2005. http://books.google.com/books?id=7Pr0YbpKnwgC&pg=PA333&lpg=PA333&dq=Robert+Bork's+America+is+a+land+in+which+women+would+be+forced+into+backalley+abortions,+blacks+would+sit+at+segregated+lunch+counters,+rogue+police+could+break+down+citizens'+doors+in+midnight+raids,&source=web&ots=Y6BHB9Dg7c&sig=ugwRpBkfxCKcq9FhAni6VZK9Oow
  • U.S. Senate. "Nominations." Accessed December 15, 2008. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Nominations.htm
  • Waldman, Steven. "Days of whine and poses, John Tower's lament - and what it misses." Washington Monthly. March, 1991. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n3_v23/ai_10488151
  • Washington, George. Letter to the Senate. August 6, 1789. http://www.ww.multied.com/Documents/NEWNATION/NavalNomination.htm
  • Washington Post. "Same issue, from George W. to George W." April 24, 2005. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A11123-2005Apr23?language=printer

UP NEXT

What Does It Really Mean to be a 'Nationalist'?

What Does It Really Mean to be a 'Nationalist'?

President Donald Trump proudly declared he is a 'nationalist,' much to the chagrin of many Americans. HowStuffWorks looks at the meaning of the word.


More to Explore