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Civil Rights Organizations Urge Confirmation Vote on Legal Council Nominee


Civil Rights Organizations Urge Senate Majority Leader to Hold Confirmation Vote on Dawn Johnsen
39 National Organizations Send Letter to Sen. Reid Expressing Concern about Stalled Nominee to the Office of Legal Counsel


Last week, 39 national civil rights organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressing concern about the obstructionist tactics that have prevented the Senate from holding a confirmation vote on Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination to head the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has been stalled for more than seven months.

Johnsen, who was nominated on February 11 and approved by the Judiciary Committee on March 19, is one of several of President Obama's executive branch nominees who have been denied a confirmation vote due to an unprecedented number of Republican holds and filibuster threats. The GOP is on pace to set a record for obstruction. In the 60 years that Senate rules have permitted cloture votes to close out debate on nominations, cloture votes have been taken on only 24 executive branch nominations. But in the first nine months of the Obama administration, the Republican majority has already forced cloture votes on five nominees.

The groups urged Sen. Reid to use the full force of his office as Majority Leader to bring Johnsen's nomination to a vote at the earliest possible date so that the OLC will have the leadership necessary to perform its critical role in providing legal and constitutional guidance to the executive branch.

Read the letter (PDF)

Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-466-2735,


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