Today’s New York Times editorial page called for the swift confirmation of Dawn Johnsen to head the administration’s Office of Legal Counsel. The editorial deemed Johnsen “superbly qualified” and a woman who has “fought for just the sort of change the office needs.” The Times also criticized Texas Senator Jon Cornyn for making the “bizarre accusation” that Johnsen has not demonstrated the “requisite seriousness for the job.” Echoing a statement AFJ released last week, the editorial noted that Senator Cornyn was a “staunch defender of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to whom that description actually applied.” Since the Senate Judiciary Committee backed Johnsen on a party-line vote, Republicans have threatened to filibuster her nomination. Clearly, they fear her leadership will put an end to the office’s approval of such troubling policies as expansive executive power and the use of torture. We can only hope that’s true.
March 26, 2009