The Clinton Administration is cushioning the blow for a Justice Dept. appointee who didn't make the cut in the Senate. Gerald Torres' nomination as Assistant Attorney General in charge of environmental affairs languished in the Senate all last year. Conservatives objected to his academic writings on environmental discrimination against the poor. Rather than try again this year, he has landed a job as a counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno, handling issues of environmental justice. Reno has added political clout to her staff by taking on former White House lawyer Ronald Klain to help manage the controversial crime bill as it wends its way through Congress.

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