Office of Legal Counsel

OPR Report Slams Bush Office of Legal Counsel

In a report released yesterday, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the pro-torture legal opinions produced by President Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel were the result of faulty reasoning.

The Pressure Is Building - Confirm Dawn Johnsen Now

For months now, Senate Republicans have been blocking the confirmation of President Obama's nominees to key positions in the federal government. Dawn Johnsen, the President's eminently qualified nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, has been waiting longer than almost anyone else-nearly eight months!

Kathleen Turner Phone Calls Support Confirmation of Dawn Johnsen

Residents of nine states will be receiving automated calls featuring the voice of actress Kathleen Turner supporting the confirmation of Dawn Johnsen. The calls urge constituents to call targeted Senators to demand that they support Johnsen, President Obama's nominee to lead the Office of Legal Counsel.

White House Releases Bush Torture Memos

Yesterday, the White House released a set of torture memos drafted by the Office of Legal Counsel under the Bush Administration. The memos attempted to justify brutal treatment of detainees, including slamming subjects against wall, striking them repeatedly in the face and abdomen, confining them to small boxes, and threatening them with stinging insects.

Kagan Confirmed as SG, Johnsen Moves to Senate Floor

The Senate today confirmed Elena Kagan as Solicitor General by a vote of 61 to 31. Earlier in the day, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the Senate floor on a near party line vote. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "The confirmation of Elena Kagan to be the nation's advocate before the Supreme Court is an historic step for women. Just over a century ago, women weren't allowed to practice law or vote — today's vote is a sign of how far we've come. But I was deeply disappointed to see so many members of the GOP put politics ahead of principle in opposing the nomination of Dawn Johnsen as head of the Office of Legal Counsel. Dawn Johnsen has the experience, the intellect, and the integrity to bring respectability back to the OLC, and her confirmation should be above petty politics."

People For Statement on Justice Department Nominations

President-elect Barack Obama today announced a strong slate of nominees to fill critical Department of Justice positions including that of Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School, as Solicitor General of the United States. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "Americans concerned with justice should be very pleased about today's nominations, including Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General. Kagan's legal skills are only matched by her commitment to the Constitutional values at the core of our nation. This announcement sends a clear message that the politicization of the Department of Justice is coming to an end. It's a great relief to know that our laws will again be enforced with honesty and integrity."
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