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Johnsen to discuss confirmation process, rule of law Friday

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For the first time since she was nominated to a post in the Department of Justice, Dawn Johnsen will give a public lecture at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington on Friday.

President Barack Obama named Johnsen to his transition team in late 2008 and then nominated her to head the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel shortly after he was inaugurated in 2009. Due to concerns some legislators had regarding her background, her confirmation process was held up and she withdrew her name from consideration in April 2010.

Johnsen, the Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law, will present “Reflections on Reproductive Liberty and the Rule of Law” at noon in Room 123 of the law school. The presentation is open to the public. She’ll also address the Bush Administration’s torture memos, President Obama’s choices in dealing with the military policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and is expected to discuss the confirmation proceedings.

“I'm looking forward to my first talk in a long time here at IU," she said in a statement from the school. "One of the worst parts of the confirmation process was not being able to live my life as I wished and talk about the things I wanted to talk about. For the last two years, all that was essentially put on hold. It's time to move on."

The Office of the Legal Counsel is still without a confirmed head and President Obama has not nominated anyone for the post at this time.

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