For Immediate Release
President Obama to Renominate Dawn Johnsen and Other 2009 Nominees
WASHINGTON - The White House announced today that President Obama will renominate
Dawn Johnsen, his choice to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC), along with other nominees whose confirmations were obstructed by
Republicans last year. In a late December political maneuver, GOP senators
refused to allow the nominations to remain on the executive calendar, forcing
the President to resubmit their nominations when the Senate reconvenes later
The renomination of Johnsen-the Obama nominee who has waited the
longest for a vote-is especially noteworthy. Currently a professor at
Indiana University School of Law, Johnsen is extraordinarily well-qualified to
head the Office of Legal Counsel.
She served for more than five years in that office during the Clinton administration, including as its
acting head for more than a year. She has the bipartisan support of both her
home state senators and from former heads of OLC from both political
parties. Senior officials from every administration since Gerald Ford's
have endorsed her nomination.
"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.
"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."
In a recent
analysis, People For the American Way documented the new records in abuse
of the filibuster set by Senate Republicans, who have forced time-consuming
procedural votes on dozens of legislative matters despite broad bipartisan
"Despite being presented with an
obviously qualified group of nominees, the GOP has plumbed new depths in delay
and obstruction in the Senate-especially in preventing the President from
filling crucial administration positions," said Baker. "The GOP
seems intent on delay, delay, delay, no matter what the cost to the nation. The
Senate should move quickly to confirm these nominees."
People For the American Way is collecting
petitions calling on the Senate to confirm Dawn Johnsen. You can see the
petition language here.
People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.