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Confirmation hearing set for professor

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The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for 2 p.m. Feb. 25 for Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen. President Barack Obama nominated her for the position of assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.

The hearing will take place in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., and will be available as a Web cast. If the committee votes in favor of her nomination, the full Senate will vote on her confirmation.

Johnsen served on Obama's transition team and in the Clinton administration as acting assistant attorney general from 1997 to 1998, and as deputy assistant attorney general from 1993 to 1996 in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

She has been with the law school since 1998. She teaches constitutional law, including a course on Congress, the president, and the courts; and sexuality, reproduction, and the Constitution. She has received national attention for papers she has written that are against policies of the Bush administration. Some of her research papers - and recommendation letters - are available on the Judiciary Committee's Web site.

Also scheduled for a confirmation hearing at the same time is David S. Kris, who has been nominated to be assistant attorney general, National Security Division.

Indiana Lawyer will offer future coverage of Johnsen's nomination process.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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