Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top Jobs at DOJ

Obama Names 4 for Justice Jobs in Break From Bush Path, N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 2009. In addition to Eric Holder, already named to be Attorney General, Obama has selected David W. Ogden (deputy attorney general), Elena Kagan (solicitor general), Thomas J. Perelli (assistant attorney general), and Dawn E. Johnsen (head of the Office of Legal Counsel).

Many of Mr. Obama’s picks in other cabinet departments have taken on a decidedly centrist bent. But at the Justice Department, where controversial Bush administration policies like interrogation tactics and eavesdropping will come under review, the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general last month and Monday’s selections of four top aides suggested a strong effort to stake out a new direction.

For instance, Ms. Johnsen, who would provide legal interpretations to the entire Obama administration, did not try to hide her disdain for recent counterterrorism initiatives in a law review article last year titled: “What’s a President to Do: Interpreting the Constitution in the Wake of the Bush Administration’s Abuses.”
And, while looking to the next administration, let's take a moment to mark the passing of President Carter's Attorney General: Griffin Bell, Ex-Attorney General, Dies at 90, N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 2009. Bell's memoir is available in the library: Taking Care of the Law, by Griffin B. Bell with Ronald J. Ostrow (KF373.B42 A37 1982 at Classified Stacks).

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