[JURIST] At a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] confirmation hearing Thursday, Democrats renewed their fight against the nomination of John Bolton [official profile] as the permanent US ambassador to the United Nations [official website]. To avoid initial opposition in the Senate [JURIST report], President Bush gave Bolton the job [JURIST report] on an interim basis last year through a recess appointment [Slate backgrounder] that expires when the new congressional session begins in January. During the hearing, Democratic senators pointed out what they described as Bolton's reluctance to amicably build consensus with other UN officials. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) [official website], the committee's lead Democrat, said that before a confirmation vote is taken, the White House should release documents [statement, text] that the Senate requested but that the administration refused to provide when Bolton was originally nominated last year [JURIST report].
Despite the resistance, Republicans remain optimistic that Bolton will be confirmed. The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) [official website], noted that the Senate has already embarked on an exhaustive review of Bolton's credentials [statement text] saying, "Few Executive Branch nominees have ever received more scrutiny than Ambassador Bolton." AP has more.