President Obama's Nominee for Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, is a specialist in constitutional law who has spent many years working in that office, including a stint heading it up as Acting Assistant Attorney General from 1997 until 1998.
But, apparently some folks - including leading Senate Democrat Ben Nelson, of Nebraska - have a problem with Dawn. Republicans plus Nelson have indicated that they will not support her nonimation in the Senate. What's their problem with her?
Well, apparently Ben Nelson is concerned about her time spent working for a particular organisation - NARAL. That's right - it turns out, horror of horrors, that apparently Dawn Johnsen is PRO-CHOICE! (Like the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, tha vast majority of all Democrats and 60% of the American public...)
Nelson's spokesman says:
"Senator Nelson is very concerned about the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, based on her previous position as Counsel for NARAL. He believes that the Office of Legal Counsel is a position in which personal views can have an impact and is concerned about her outspoken pro-choice views on abortion."
But... abortion is LEGAL. Constitutionally protected, even. Nothing that Johnsen, or even Congress could do would overturn the Supreme Court's ruling on that.
So this (Democratic!) Senator's objection is that Dawn Johnsen, in her role at the Office of Legal Counsel, would be forced to work to... uphold the law? That to his great regret and concern her position is to... strongly support the current legal and constitutional framework?
Don't know what their serving in the Senate Cafeteria these days, but it seems to be something kinda nutty.
HINT: Should you wish to let Senator Nelson know your thoughts, you can reach him at
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-6551
Fax: (202) 228-0012