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November 16, 2019
CQ Press Encyclopedia of American Government

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Have You Heard

Bill Clinton's original nominee to head the Justice Department in 1993 was Zo Baird, a Connecticut corporate lawyer. Her Senate confirmation seemed assured until she disclosed that she had illegally hired undocumented aliens as a babysitter and driver and had not paid Social Security taxes on their wages. After a few days of "Nannygate" commotion, Baird withdrew her name. Another leading contender, also a woman, dropped out for similar reasons. Clinton then nominated Janet Reno, an unmarried Miami prosecutor with no children. Reno quickly won confirmation as the first woman attorney general of the United States. Women's rights advocates said the episode pointed up a double standard: no one thought to ask male nominees about their child care arrangements.  more...

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