After a five-month standoff, Hans von Spakovsky has withdrawn his name as a nominee to the FEC. The move likely clears the way for the deadlock over the FEC to be resolved.
You can read his resignation here.
“It is with regret that I write to request that you withdraw my nomination,” Spakovsky wrote in a letter to the President today. In his letter, Spakovsky explains that Democrats’ opposition to his nomination has caused a battle that has been “extremely hard on my family and quite frankly, we do not have the financial resources to continue to wait until this matter is resolved.”
Democrats have opposed Spakovsky’s nomination ever since last year, but it was the opposition of Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Russ Feingold (D-WI), who refused to allow any vote on the nominees together, that ultimately led to his withdrawal. Republicans, on the other hand, refused to allow Spakovsky to be voted on separately.
To remind you of some of the lowlights of Spakovsky’s career at the Justice Department: his attempt to disenfranchise thousands of voters in Arizona singlehandedly (and then his false testimony to Congress about that), his petty attempts to retaliate against Department employees who did not agree with his legal philosophy (and his contested testimony about that), and his advisory letters that led to restrictive voter roll policies in a number of states.
Update: Rick Hasen on where things go from here.
Later Update: Reid’s response:
“I welcome the President’s decision to withdraw the controversial nomination of Mr. von Spakovsky. It is an action I have repeatedly urged the President to take for more than six months. Democrats stood united in their opposition to von Spakovsky because of his long and well-documented history of working to suppress the rights of minorities and the elderly to vote. He was not qualified to hold any position of trust in our government.
“His withdrawal today is a victory for our electoral process. With Mr. von Spakovsky now removed, I anticipate that we will be able to swiftly put a functioning FEC in place. That too is what the American people deserve.”