DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel finally gets leader

June 29, 2011
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In January 2009, Indiana University Maurer School of Law Professor Dawn Johnsen was named as President Barack Obama’s appointment for assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. She moved her family to Washington, D.C., only to have her confirmation stall in the Senate because some objected to her political views and previous work experience, including working as legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America from 1988 to 1993.

The Senate sent her nomination back to the White House in December 2009, and President Obama re-nominated her in January 2010. Again, her confirmation process was held up and she withdrew her name from consideration in April 2010 – nearly a year and a half after she was first nominated.

Now, after several years of not having an appointed leader of the OLC, the full Senate confirmed attorney Virginia A. Seitz by voice vote Tuesday. Seitz is a partner in Sidley Austin’s Washington, D.C., office. She was nominated by the president in January 2011.

Johnsen is back in Bloomington and at the law school, where she teaches courses on constitutional law.

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