Prepared for political power, not for responsibility

I have an op-ed in today’s Washington Times about the Dawn Johnsen nomination. Even Democrats have expressed concern about Johnsen’s capacity to provide neutral and independent legal analysis, given her leftist activism. Johnsen (along with Obama-supporting, Souter-praising Doug Kmiec) have attempted to address these concerns by pointing to two instances in which, as a Justice Department lawyer, she followed the unambiguous language of the United States Code even though she didn’t like the result.

My column tries to show how thin this defense is. It compares Johnsen’s “profille in courage” moments to the real courage and independence displayed by Charles Cooper, head of the OLC during the Reagan administration.

Cooper was prepared for responsibility; Johnsen, in her words, is “prepared for political power.”


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