Public health researcher Celeste Monforton has written a blog entry
highlighting the danger to public safety caused by the Senate's delay in confirming M. Patricia Smith as the new Solicitor of Labor. President Obama appointed Smith in April, and she completed her confirmation hearing on May 7. Since the Senate has failed to complete her confirmation, the 600 employees of the Solicitor's office remain under the direction of hold-over management. "[W]hen it comes to protecting coal miners who have been discriminated against for complaining about safety problems, some attorneys in SOL are failing miserably," Monforton writes for The Pump Handle
. "It’s imperative that the new Solicitor of Labor be confirmed and that she instill a sense of urgency in her staff, especially with respect to whistleblower and anti-discrimination cases."