Judicial Nominations Move

After a delay of many months, President Clinton s judicial nominees are beginning to trickle through the Senate confirmation process.

The full Senate confirmed five judges Wednesday, and the Senate Judiciary Committee sent three additional appointments to the floor in a brief meeting yesterday.

The action comes after a delay of many months in which Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the committee chairman, blocked action on the administration s appointees in an attempt to have a Utahan appointed to the bench. Hatch s selection, gubernatorial aide Ted Stewart, drew opposition from environmentalists.

The five appointees confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday include W. Allen Pepper Jr. of Mississippi, a college roommate of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) at Ole Miss, and Karen E. Schreier of South Dakota, the home state of Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle. Also approved were Keith Ellison of Texas, Stefan Underhill of Connecticut and Gary Feess of California.

The nominees approved by the committee were Marsha L. Berzon of California, named to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Robert Katzmann, named to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and T. John Ward, nominated to be a district judge for the Eastern District of Texas. According to statistics kept by Democrats, there are still 37 Clinton judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee.

U.S. Targets Egg-Borne Salmonella

The Clinton administration proposed new warning labels for egg cartons and took steps to combat salmonella contamination.

The proposed safe handling instructions warn that eggs may contain harmful bacteria known to cause serious illness, especially in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems. It would advise consumers to keep eggs refrigerated, cook egg yolks until firm and thoroughly cook any food containing eggs.

The joint announcement by the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department, which together have responsibility for preventing food-borne illnesses, came as the General Accounting Office reported that too many federal agencies have done too little, too slowly to protect Americans from salmonella-contaminated eggs. It concluded that new national standards and better coordination among the several agencies with jurisdiction over the issue are needed.

For the Record

Coming down firmly against Pakistan, the House International Relations Committee approved a resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of Islamic forces that have pushed into Indian territory in the disputed region of Kashmir. One supporter praised India for its amazing restraint in responding to the crisis, even as Indian fighter jets and artillery struck the Islamic guerrillas that India said include Pakistani troops. Opponents said the resolution was unbalanced, but they failed in efforts to insert a call for India to hold free elections in Kashmir.

More than 130 House members have asked Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to explore the possibility of working with the Iranian opposition in exile. In a letter, they said U.S. policy based on seeking dialogue with the Tehran government was sending mixed signals. The main opposition is the Iraqi-based Mujahedin Khalq, which the State Department put on its list of 30 international terrorist organizations in 1997. Analysts say the Clinton administration remains hopeful that liberals associated with Iranian President Mohammed Khatami will come out on top in their long power struggle with hard-liners around Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.