Dems Can’t Block Scalia Senate Confirmation

September 26, 2019, 11:33 AM HST (Updated September 26, 2019, 11:33 AM)
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Sen. Mazie K. Hirono. Courtesy photo

The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Eugene Scalia as Secretary of Labor.

Senators voted 53-44 to push through the nomination Scalia, the son of late US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The nominee is a partner in a Washington D.C. law firm and has worked in employment and labor law for more than 30 years.

Scalia has spent much of his legal career working on behalf of private industry in fights against government regulation in the employment sector. Democrats, who largely opposed President Donald Trump’s selection, say Scalia has a history of favoring industry over workers’ rights.

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) issued a statement after casting a vote against Scalia’s confirmation.

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“Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently nominated individuals to serve in his cabinet who have major conflicts of interest and who are hostile to the Departments they are chosen to lead,” Sen. Hirono said. “The nomination of Eugene Scalia to be Secretary of Labor fits squarely within this pattern, and his confirmation will result in serious harm to working people in Hawai‘i and across the country.

“Eugene Scalia has spent his entire career advocating for powerful corporations at the expense of America’s workers,” she continued. “As a corporate lawyer, he fought to weaken protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He worked to undermine regulations that protect the health and safety of workers. He opposed increases in the minimum wage and helped his clients deny tips and overtime pay for their workers.”

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