President Barack Obama's nomination (prior post) of Dawn Johnsen (left) to become the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, is now before the U.S. Senate following a favorable vote last week in the Judiciary Committee. But the tally was close -- 11 to 7 -- and SCOTUSblog predicts "a lengthy and contentious floor debate" in the full Senate. Issues Republicans have raised about this Indiana Law professor, an IntLawGrrls' guest/alumna? According to SCOTUSblog:
►"[S]he has served as legal counsel for NARAL, a pro-choice reproductive rights political group," and
►"She has strongly criticized the Bush administration’s OLC legal memorandums and positions on executive power," going so far "[d]uring her nomination hearing" as to "explicitly cal[l] waterboarding a method of torture when asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."
Meanwhile, another Obama nominee about whom we've posted, former Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan, was presented sworn to the Supreme Court yesterday, having been sworn in as Solicitor General of the United States, the government's chief advocate before the Court, on Friday. Kagan (left) is the 1st woman to hold her post -- as would be Johnsen if confirmed.