In a big "FU" to the Republican obstructionists in Congress, Barack Obama has re-submitted Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel, after the GOP blocked her nomination late last year.
It should be noted that Johnsen has had glowing recommendations from both sides of the aisle for her legal acumen, but because she did work for a pro-choice group two decades ago, she was deemed "too liberal" to be acceptable for a Congressional vote:
The renomination of Johnsen-the Obama nominee who has waited the longest for a vote-is especially noteworthy. Currently a professor at Indiana University School of Law, Johnsen is extraordinarily well-qualified to head the Office of Legal Counsel. She served for more than five years in that office during the Clinton administration, including as its acting head for more than a year. She has the bipartisan support of both her home state senators and from former heads of OLC from both political parties. Senior officials from every administration since Gerald Ford's have endorsed her nomination.
"President Obama made an excellent choice in Professor Johnsen to lead OLC, and today he's shown his willingness to stand on principle and call the Republicans on their attack and delay tactics," said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. "President Obama's statement today is a refutation of the GOP's efforts to spin this eminently qualified nominee as a controversial choice, and he should be applauded. Professor Johnsen's legal scholarship, her integrity, her substantive knowledge, and her commitment to this nation's security and to the rule of law will serve this country well once she's confirmed."
To be fair, this is not strictly a GOP issue:
At least two Democrats — Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — have also said they oppose her, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, did not give her a floor vote.
It's patently absurd that someone as eminently qualified as Johnsen should not get even the respect of being given a vote. John Yoo--the poster child for the phrase "the banality of evil"--has no problem with his nomination to the OLC, but Johnsen does?
In addition to Johnsen, Obama has re-submitted the nominations of five others whose original nominations were effectively killed by GOP obstructionism:
Mr. Obama will also renominate Christopher Schroeder to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy and Mary Smith to lead its tax division; Craig Becker to be a National Labor Relations Board member; and Louis Butler Jr. and Edward Chen to be district court judges, the official said.