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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Obama nominates Clinton-era lawyers to top DOJ posts
Jaclyn Belczyk at 9:28 AM ET

[JURIST] US President-elect Barack Obama [transition website] on Monday nominated four former Clinton-era attorneys to high-level posts [press release] within the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website]. Obama has designated Elena Kagan as his pick for Solicitor General, David Ogden to be Deputy Attorney General, Tom Perrelli as Associate Attorney General, and Dawn Johnsen [professional profiles] as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Kagan [HLS press release], Dean of Harvard Law School, served as Associate Counsel to the President and then as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council under former President Bill Clinton. Ogden, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, served as Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division under Clinton. Perrelli, a partner at Jenner & Block, served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General during the Clinton administration. Johnsen, a professor of law at Indiana University, served in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel as the acting assistant attorney general heading that office and as a deputy assistant attorney general under Clinton. Obama said:

These individuals bring the integrity, depth of experience and tenacity that the Department of Justice demands in these uncertain times. I have the fullest confidence that they will ensure that the Department of Justice once again fulfills its highest purpose: to uphold the Constitution and protect the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.
Last month, Obama officially announced that he was nominating former DOJ official Eric Holder [professional profile; JURIST report] as the next US attorney general. If confirmed by the Senate, Holder will be the first African American to lead the DOJ. Holder served as Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton Administration and led Obama’s VP selection team during the election. Holder's confirmation hearings [JURIST report] are scheduled to begin next week.

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