Federal File: Berry is in; Clinton taps Goode

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Ending an internal squabble, members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last month confirmed the appointment of Mary Frances Berry as chairwoman of the independent, bipartisan agency.

The vote came three weeks after the commission deadlocked on Ms. Berry's nomination, with four votes in favor and four abstentions.

The eight-member commission's charter requires majority approval of the commissioners for the President's nominations to leadership posts.

At their regular monthly meeting Nov. 19, five commissioners voted to confirm Ms. Berry, a commissioner since 1980 who was reappointed last February.

She is a professor of history and law at the University of Pennsylvania, and served as an education official in the Carter Administration.

Also confirmed by the commission was Mr. Clinton's nominee for vice chairman, Cruz Reynoso, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

At last month's meeting, the panel's former chairman, Arthur A. Fletcher, who was appointed by President Bush, switched his vote from "abstain'' to "approve.''

Constance Horner, a Republican appointee, switched her vote from "abstain'' to "no.'' Two other Republican nominees, Carl Anderson and Robert George, abstained again.

Mr. Reynoso received six votes of approval, with Mr. George and Mr. Anderson abstaining.

Ms. Berry and Mr. Reynoso will head the panel until the President decides to remove or replace them. Commissioners serve six-year terms.

Also at the meeting, Mr. Fletcher reportedly expressed concern over what he views as the commission's inadequate funding level.

President Clinton has named several regional representatives for the Education Department, including W. Wilson Goode, a former mayor of Philadelphia.

Regional representatives serve as liaisons to state, local, and private education organizations, working from the department's regional offices.

Mr. Goode, who was Philadelphia's mayor from 1984-91, will cover the region that includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.--MARK PITSCH

Vol. 13, Issue 13

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