The Washington Post has become the latest voice to join the broad array of observers supporting the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to lead the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The Post joins a bi-partisan group of 70 legal scholars, former OLC directors appointed by Democrat and Republican presidents, the editorial board of The New York Times and Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.) in extolling Johnsen's qualifications for the position.
The Post editorialized:
Ms. Johnsen is undoubtedly qualified for the position, and she should be confirmed.
Ms. Johnsen's confirmation has been held up by Republicans concerned that she's an "ideologue," in the words of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). Ms. Johnsen's nomination squeaked by on a party-line vote before the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been stalled for the past month amid filibuster threats from some Republicans.
Let's put aside, for the moment, the fact that the Justice Department under President Bush was perhaps the most politicized in a generation -- and that among the most warped sections of the Bush Justice Department was the OLC. It is nonetheless legitimate to ask whether Ms. Johnsen will behave as badly as some of her immediate predecessors.