FAR-RIGHT TARGETS DOJ NOMINEES…. Some of President Obama’s most impressive personnel moves have come at the Justice Department, most notably with some lower-profile offices, like the Office of Legal Counsel and the Solicitor General. The team Obama has put together couldn’t represent a more thorough and encouraging break from the Bush era.
Naturally, conservative activists are livid.
Christian conservatives are challenging President Barack Obama’s picks for top Justice Department positions, charging that past clients like Playboy taint their resumes. […]
As [A.G. Eric Holder] waits for confirmation of his top aides, many on the religious right are questioning the nominee’s backgrounds, saying they have promoted far left, pro-abortion, pro-gay policies.
“[David Ogden, Obama’s pick for deputy attorney general] has been an activist in the support of a right to pornography, a right of abortion and the rights of homosexuals,” said Patrick Trueman, a former Justice Department official during the first Bush presidency who is now in private practice.
“It isn’t so much that he’s represented pornographers or that he’s been a porn attorney, but it’s his world view, and his world view reflects President Obama’s world view,” said Trueman, echoing criticism from conservative activist groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family.
Describing Ogden as a “porn attorney” is a little over the top. Among his many clients has been Playboy magazine, and Ogden represented librarians resisting Internet-filtering software.
Of course, it’s not just Ogden. The right is targeting Dawn Johnsen at the OLC because she’s worked with NARAL. Thomas Perrelli, nominated to be the Associate Attorney General, is drawing fire because he represented Terry Schiavo’s husband. Solicitor General nominee Elena Kagan and Tony West, nominated to head the Civil Division, are also drawing fire.
Tom Minnery, a vice president at Focus on the Family, told the AP, “They take our breath away the more we learn about these people. This is left-wing politicization of the Justice Department. This is not a Justice Department that looks like America.”
What’s more, these far-right activists have an ally on the Hill — speaking on the Senate floor this week, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama said, “We don’t need the Department of Justice to become a liberal bastion.”
At this point, there’s no reason to think the right-wing whining will make any difference. All of the DoJ nominees are expected to be confirmed. But their apoplexy is nevertheless a good sign that the president has picked the best people for their roles at Justice.