The Blog

Top DOJ Nominee Dawn Johnsen Withdraws

6:22 PM, Apr 9, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

For all those wondering what the Obama administration's latest Friday night news dump would be, here it is:

President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has withdrawn her bid for confirmation, after several Republicans objected to her criticism of the Bush administration's terrorist interrogation policies.

Dawn Johnsen's withdrawal - a setback for the Obama administration - was announced late Friday by the White House on a day the capital's legal and political elites were absorbed in the news that Justice John Paul Stevens would retire from the Supreme Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee had recommended Johnsen's confirmation on party-line votes. But several Republicans objected to her sharp criticisms of terrorist interrogation policies under President George W. Bush, and the full Senate never voted on her nomination.

In a 1989 brief Johnsen, a former legal director at the pro-abortion group NARAL, compared restrictions on abortion-on-demand to "involuntary servitude". These restrictions were therefore prohibited by the 13th amendment, which bans slavery. Johnsen has also come under fire for working for the DOJ without having been confirmed.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers