Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dawn Johnsen

Dawn Johnsen is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College, and a law review editor at Yale Law School. She served in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration, then became a law professor at Indiana University.

President Obama's nomination of Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel has been held up for nearly a year because of some doubt as to whether a sufficient number of votes can be found to overcome a filibuster. Nearly every Republican Senator has announced opposition to her appointment.

Why?  Presumably because of Johnsen's outspoken criticism of the so-called "torture memos" issued by the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel, which were sought at the highest levels of the White House specifically to provide legal cover for harsh interrogation techniques employed on prisoners captured after 9/11.  Even though the Bush administration's own Justice Department itself eventually repudiated its own memos, Republican Senators still want to defend the indefensible.  It has been reported that the President will re-submit her name to Congress when it re-convenes.  Here's hoping Congress will act quickly to confirm an eminently qualified candidate.

5 comments:

  1. Here's a good article on her:

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/12/25/why-was-dawn-johnsen-nomination-killed/

    Seems that the reason is because Obama and his own party never supported her.

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  2. That article is typical, I hate to say it, left wing paranoia and conspiracy theorizing. It's as bad as right wing paranoia and conspiracy theorizing sometimes! Why dream up some kind of nefarious plot by Obama and Rahm Emanuel to put up a nomination that was doomed to fail, when the much simpler explanation--that Harry Reid just did not feel sure enough that he had the necessary 60 votes--is right at hand? I actually think that Reid knows what he is doing, and that Obama doesn't nominate people that he does not want to see confirmed. But maybe I just lack imagination. On the other hand, the fact that Obama is re-submitting the nomination seems to suggest that the writer of this article is full of it.

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  3. Reid is probably going to lose his re-election bid because he doesn't know what he's doing and if the Dems have 60 votes then the failure is with them... not the Republicans.

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  4. Reid might lose his seat, but if he does, it will be because of public outrage about Wall Street bailouts, the same reason Chris Dodd also had to quit. The sad part of that is that these guys saved our economy, but the public does not recognize that yet.

    As for blaming the Democrats for this nomination not being confirmed, I would prefer to blame the individuals who have announced that they would filibuster it, about 38 of whom are Republicans, rather than the Democrats, of whom only a couple oppose it. It takes a miracle to get all the Democrats to agree on anything, which is why the idea of a filibuster-proof Senate was always wishful thinking on Democrats' part.

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  5. Dodd is corrupt and got below-market rate loans from Countrywide which the Democrats refused to investigate despite pleas from the Republicans. Reid didn't follow the wishes of his voters who are overwhelmingly against his Big Government policies. I'm glad Dodd is gone and I'll be happy if Reid joins him.

    So 38 Republicans said they would filibuster... that still leaves 72 votes the Dems failed to get. That's a failure on their end. And I've seen nothing to indicate Obama made her nomination a priority.

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