President Barack Obama has nominated two highly qualified individuals to serve in key executive branch legal positions, and "policy disagreements with the president" are not cause for denying him his selections, The Washington Post editorial board writes.
The editorial praises the accomplishments of Sidley Austin partner Virginia A. Seitz (pictured), nominated to lead the Office of Legal Counsel, and White House Deputy Counsel Donald B. Verrilli Jr., nominated to become solicitor general.
"The Senate has an opportunity - and a responsibility - to prove that the confirmation experience of Dawn E. Johnsen was an aberration," the editorial states.
Johnsen, an ACS Board Member, was the previous nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, but she withdrew her nomination after 14 months of Republican obstruction, "in large part because Ms. Johnsen had criticized the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies," the editorial states. "Now some conservatives are grumbling about President Obama's new OLC nominee - because she apparently has no publicly enunciated views on national security issues. Neat trick."
The editorial continues:
Their protestations, in any case, miss the mark. Policy disagreements with the president should not be used to deny him his choice of executive branch personnel. These appointees, who do not enjoy life tenure, are meant to carry out the president's prerogatives. Every nominee should get an up-or-down vote. And except for disqualifying ethical or legal lapses or views so extreme as to be far afield from the mainstream, the president should get his picks.
Verrilli, a frequent ACS event participant, has argued many cases before the Supreme Court, and is known for "bringing passion to his pro bono work," according to a profile by The National Law Journal.
Seitz, also a frequent ACS participant, is amassing a "small Republican 'fan club' " of lawyers at her firm and others who admire the quality of her work, The Blog of Legal Times recently reported.