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Tell Your Senators to Confirm Dawn Johnsen for OLC

It’s time to get down to serious business and push for confirmation of Dawn Johnsen at OLC.

My guess is that the GOP doesn’t have the votes to sustain a filibuster, meaning I don’t think they have the 60 votes to hold against cloture. Mainly because Bigmouth John Cornyn has been tight-lipped the last week or so.

When his swagger deflates, that’s usually a sign of some ass-save-ery on his part.

Perhaps a push from folks like Walter Dellinger on Cornyn’s and other GOP Senators’ past mouthiness unequivocally against filibusters has something to do with it?

Just last year, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) made this point clearly: "Far too many judicial and executive nominees have been delayed. . . . Senators have a right to vote for or against any nominee — but blocking votes on nominations is unacceptable." Other senatorial statements also are starkly unequivocal. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) said, "I pledged, then and there, I would never filibuster any president’s judicial nominee, period. I might vote against them, but I will always see they came to a vote."

Although the Senate is free to filibuster legislation, a number of senators argued that the Constitution requires it to vote on nominations. Thus Orrin Hatch (Utah) said, "The advice and consent clause is clearly an up-or-down vote — a majority vote — on the floor of the Senate." Bob Bennett (Utah) added, "In my view, the Founding Fathers clearly intended the Senate to consent to the president’s choices on a majority vote." Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas said that "advice and consent as it is called in the Constitution . . . has always meant a majority vote."…

The list of senators who have virtually ruled out advice-and-consent filibusters also includes Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Kit Bond (Missouri), Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts (Kansas), Tom Coburn and James Inhofe (Oklahoma), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Judd Gregg (New Hampshire), Jon Kyl (Arizona), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) and George Voinovich (Ohio).

But that does not mean we can take Johnsen’s nomination as a given. Far from it.

It ought to be patently obvious that OLC is in dire need of rule of law leadership. Especially given the most recent release of OLC memos. (Please sign our petition for an independent counsel here.)

Please take the time to call your Senators today. Tell them to confirm Dawn Johnsen.

I want to keep a running tally of where Senators stand, so please report back after you call, and let us know if you get a Yay or Nay out of your Senator’s office — or nothing at all.

You can put Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse down as a firm supporter of Dawn’s — spoke with him on conference call last Friday and he’s ready to lead whatever fight is necessary to get her confirmed. Please call and thank him for his leadership on this — (202) 224-2921 — it’s been very much appreciated.

And then call your Senators and ask them why they aren’t leading the charge for Dawn as well.

If your Senators are listed above in Walter’s op-ed, be sure to ask them if they’ve changed their tune — and whether they can spell political hypocrisy.

Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

Tell Your Senators To Confirm Dawn Johnsen For OLC

It’s time to get down to serious business and push for confirmation of Dawn Johnsen at OLC. 

My guess is that the GOP doesn’t have the votes to sustain a filibuster, meaning I don’t think they have the 60 votes to hold against cloture. Mainly because Bigmouth John Cornyn has been tight-lipped the last week or so.

When his swagger deflates, that’s usually a sign of some ass-save-ery on his part.

Perhaps a push from folks like Walter Dellinger on Cornyn’s and other GOP Senators’ past mouthiness unequivocally against filibusters has something to do with it?

Just last year, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) made this point clearly: "Far too many judicial and executive nominees have been delayed. . . . Senators have a right to vote for or against any nominee — but blocking votes on nominations is unacceptable." Other senatorial statements also are starkly unequivocal. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) said, "I pledged, then and there, I would never filibuster any president’s judicial nominee, period. I might vote against them, but I will always see they came to a vote."

Although the Senate is free to filibuster legislation, a number of senators argued that the Constitution requires it to vote on nominations. Thus Orrin Hatch (Utah) said, "The advice and consent clause is clearly an up-or-down vote — a majority vote — on the floor of the Senate." Bob Bennett (Utah) added, "In my view, the Founding Fathers clearly intended the Senate to consent to the president’s choices on a majority vote." Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas said that "advice and consent as it is called in the Constitution . . . has always meant a majority vote."…

The list of senators who have virtually ruled out advice-and-consent filibusters also includes Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Kit Bond (Missouri), Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts (Kansas), Tom Coburn and James Inhofe (Oklahoma), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Judd Gregg (New Hampshire), Jon Kyl (Arizona), Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) and George Voinovich (Ohio).

But that does not mean we can take Johnsen’s nomination as a given. Far from it.

It ought to be patently obvious that OLC is in dire need of rule of law leadership.  Especially given the most recent release of OLC memos.  (Please sign our petition for an independent counsel here.)

Please take the time to call your Senators today. Tell them to confirm Dawn Johnsen. (more…)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com