Friday, June 11, 2010

Dawn Johnsen Speaks Out On OLC - emptywheel Analyzes, Responds

Dawn Johnsen, nominated by Obama to head OLC, stonewalled by Republican filibuster threats, not supported in any meaningful way by Obama (who, it seems, would rather allow the OLC to go leaderless than vigorously defend his own nominee to the post), finally speaks out on the crux of the matter: What will it take to re-establish the Office as an effective check on the propensity of today's presidents to lead the OLC into illegal and even partisan actions inappropriate to the Office, i.e., to seek OLC rulings tailored to something a president wants to do, whether that something is within the law or not, as at least Mr. Bush did in the matter of the Bybee torture memo?

emptywheel has some thoughts and some questions, including the obvious one: why is Johnsen speaking now rather than earlier, and is she responding to some specific action by Obama... say, an impending disastrous appointment on his part to the OLC position?

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