Battle Brewing Over Justice Department Nominee

Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 03:58 PM

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A veteran lawyer with liberal credentials and no national security background is the White House's new choice to head the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, the Wall Street Journal reports. Virginia Seitz, a Rhodes scholar and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Department,Office of Legal Counsel,White House nominee,Virginia Seitz,blocked confirmation,Dawn Johnsen,President Barack Obama,President George W. Bush,Senate,controversial choice,national security,policy,legal opinions,constitutionality,detention,interrogation,terror suspects,Wall Street JournalJustice William Brennan, could be a controversial pick for a post that has become mired in partisan fights over national security policy and has not had a Senate-confirmed appointee in seven years.

President Barack Obama's first nominee, law professor Dawn Johnsen, was blocked by Republicans who objected to her public criticisms of former President George W. Bush's security policies. In 2003, Democrats blocked a  Bush nominee to the post.

The office of legal counsel advises the executive branch on constitutional matters, and after 9/11 under Bush it endorsed controversial methods of detaining and interrogating terror suspects.

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