1983 Scorecard Vote
James Watt resigned as Secretary of the Interior in the fall of 1983, after public outrage over the latest of his ill-considered remarks. President Reagan's advisers wanted to replace him with someone calm, quiet, and non-confrontational who could make voters forget the controversy over Watt, without changing most of Watt's policies. They found their man in William Clark.
Environmentalists opposed Senate confirmation of William Clark as the new Secretary of Interior for several reasons. First, Clark had virtually no experience in environmental matters, and lacked the expertise necessary to fulfill his responsibilities as manager of most of the nation's public lands. As an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, he participated in 17 important environmental cases, and each time he sided with the developmental interests and against environmental protection. During his confirmation hearings, Clark refused to commit himself to changing any of Watt's disastrous and sometimes illegal policies (see next vote).
Clark confirmed as Secretary of Interior, 71-18; November 18, 1983. NO is the pro-environmental vote. The Reagan Administration of course supported confirmation. No House action was required.