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Politics
Norton defends Myers' record as Interior solicitor


Controversial appeals court nominee Bill Myers didn't make any "policy" decisions as the Interior Department's former top lawyer, he just interpreted the law, Secretary Gale Norton said.

"When the solicitor makes a decision for the Department of the Interior, what they do is look at the law as it exists. It's not a policy question, it's really analyzing the law the way the courts have interpreted it," Norton was quoted by Fox News as saying.

What Norton, or Fox, left out, is that Myers' interpretations of the law have been contrary to court rulings. His opinion that allowed mining on the sacred lands of the Quechan Nation of California was rejected by a federal judge.

Another court rejected his stand in a case where the department sided with a company that wants to operate a round-the-clock mine next to the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Nevada. The U.S. Supreme Court also rejected the department's limited view of the trust relationship.

Myers was not included in a deal to allow votes on some of President Bush's nominees. Republicans plan to call a vote on him anyway this month. He was blocked last year by a Democratic filibuster.

Get the Story:
Myers Confirmation on Chopping Block (Fox News 6/2)

Relevant Documents:
Inspector General Letter | NCAI Resolution | Environmental Group's Letter | Holland & Hart Biography

Indianz.Com Profile:
Industry insider named to Interior (March 30, 2001)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
Myers reversing sacred site opinion (10/25)
Bush nominee has no 'agenda' on Clinton decisions (6/21)

Relevant Links:
Judicial nominees, Department of Justice site - http://www.usdoj.gov/olp/judicialnominations.htm

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