Still No Dawn Johnsen In Recess Appointments

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

President Obama is going to make 15 recess appointments during Easter break, but one name is still missing:…

Dawn E. Johnsen, the current nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the United States Dept. of Justice.

While President – elect, Obama said he intended to nominate Johnson, currently a law professor and a former ACLU attorney, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General from ’93 to ’96 under President Clinton, and former Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Council from ’97 to ’98.

Oh well.   He’s still got 2 and 3/4 years left.

Last March 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11 to 7 aye on her nomination, which has since languished.…

The committee’s vote split along party lines and a lengthy and contentious floor debate is expected over her nomination.  Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, has served as legal counsel for NARAL, a pro-choice reproductive rights political group. She has strongly criticized the Bush administration’s OLC legal memorandums and positions on executive power. During her nomination hearing, she explicitly called waterboarding a method of torture when asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The committee questionnaire and letters received regarding Johnsen’s nomination can be found here. (the link is no longer working)

Here are the current occupations of the lucky 15 out of 217 pending nominees, and what department they’re intended to end up at.

EEOC – Currently, Mr. Lopez is a Supervisory Trial Attorney with the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office.

EEOC – Victoria A. Lipnic is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

EEOC – Chai Feldblum is a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center where she has taught since 1991

EEOC – Ms. Berrien has served as Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) since September 2004.

NLRB – Mark Gaston Pearce has been a labor lawyer for his entire career.  He is one of the founding partners of the Buffalo, New York law firm of Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux where he practices union side labor and employment law before state and federal courts and agencies

NLRB – Craig Becker currently serves as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations

Homeland Security – Rafael Borras currently serves as a Vice President, Construction Services, for the Mid-Atlantic Region with URS Corporation, a global engineering services firm

Farm Credit Admin Board (no current occupation given) Jill Long Thompson is a former Member of the United States House of Representatives and the former Under Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture.

Homeland Security – Alan Bersin was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in April, 2009 as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

US Trade Representative –  Islam A. Siddiqui is currently Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, where he is responsible for regulatory and international trade issues related to crop protection chemicals.

Commerce – Francisco J. S├ínchez currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on international trade issues.

US Trade Representative  – Since January 2010, Punke has served as a Consultant to the U.S. Trade Representative.

Commerce – Eric Hirschhorn, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn LLP, long has been active in the areas of international law, litigation, and professional responsibility.

Treasury – Michael F. Mundaca currently is Senior Advisor for Policy within the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy and the Acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.

Treasury -Mr. Goldstein is a member of the Board of LPL Holdings Inc., AlixPartners LLP and Grosvenor Capital Management and the Board of Trustees of the International Center for Research on Women.  He is also on the Board of Trustees of Vassar College and is Chairman of the Vassar College Investments Committee.  He is also a member of the Brookings Institution Global Leadership Council, The London School of Economics North American Advisory Board and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

It is not known at this time, what their positions on waterboarding as torture are, and whether closing Guantanamo is a good idea, nor their inclinations on the theory of the unitary executive and whether the OLC can write memos after the fact justifying it. http://emptywheel.firedoglake….


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  1. …. move along, nothing to see here.

    We need Baghram for Pakistan, and  McCrystal’s in charge of the entire NATO endeavor in Afghanistan now.  Panetta’s in charge of all the drone strikes in Pakistan, per the WAPO.

    Easter break.

    No unemployment benefits either.

  2. … on both Dawn Johnson and the possible replacement of John Paul Stevens on SCOTUS by Cass Sundheim:

    at Salon

    There is also a link to his earlier, January 2009, article

    on Dawn Johnson

    right here

    Good information here, ARC.  Thanks.

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