In a party line vote today, President Obama's choice to head the Office of Legal Counsel was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the second time that Johnsen, who was first nominated more than a year ago, has been approved by the committee.
People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
"Senator Leahy and his colleagues should be applauded for once again moving this nomination forward. The Office of Legal Counsel is one of the most important offices in our government, but Senate Republicans have attempted over and over again to obstruct this nomination.
"Dawn Johnsen has received support from across the ideological spectrum and has the bipartisan support of her home state senators. Senior officials from every administration since Gerald Ford's have endorsed her nomination. She has the experience, the integrity and the intellect to do this job and to do it well.
"More than a year into his presidency, Republicans are still slow-walking President Obama's nominees for executive agencies. Instead of participating in the business of governing, the GOP is attempting to cripple this administration no matter what the cost. This unprecedented level of obstruction is unwarranted, and, especially in the case of office as crucial as the OLC, utterly unacceptable.
"As Senator Leahy urged, after a year of petty political delays, Republican Senators should allow a simple up or down vote on this nominee. The country deserves no less."
People For the American Way recently released a memo on the unprecedented obstruction of President Obama's executive branch nominees.