White House To Renominate Johnsen To Top Justice Post

President Obama will renominate Dawn Johnsen to serve as one of the Justice Department’s top officials, TPMDC has learned.

A White House official confirms that Obama will renominate Johnsen, along with a handful of others whose nominations expired at the end of the year, when the Senate reconvenes later this month.

“President Obama made an excellent choice in Professor Johnsen to lead OLC, and today he’s shown his willingness to stand on principle and call the Republicans on their attack and delay tactics,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way, and a Johnsen supporter. “President Obama’s statement today is a refutation of the GOP’s efforts to spin this eminently qualified nominee as a controversial choice, and he should be applauded. Professor Johnsen’s legal scholarship, her integrity, her substantive knowledge, and her commitment to this nation’s security and to the rule of law will serve this country well once she’s confirmed.”When the Senate adjourned for winter recess, Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the White House a list of executive branch nominees who could not be confirmed before year’s end, and who, because of the objections of Senate Republicans, could also not be carried over into the second session. Johnsen–Obama’s pick to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel–was among them.

The White House informed outside groups that have rallied for Johnsen earlier this week, and it became clear yesterday that her nomination would be revived.

Obama nominated Johnsen to the post shortly after he took office last year. Months passed, though, and she never received a confirmation vote. Many critics–progressives and civil libertarians who hailed the nomination–ultimately placed the blame for Johnsen’s languishing nomination at Obama’s feet.

Now she’ll have another shot. The question is, how soon will she receive a vote? Or will she?

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