Bench Memos

Horton Hears a Who!—But It’s Imaginary

The lefty blogosphere appears to be abuzz over law professor Scott Horton’s claim that “Senate Republicans are now privately threatening to derail the confirmation of key Obama administration nominees for top legal positions”—namely, OLC nominee Dawn Johnsen and State Department legal adviser nominee Harold Koh—“by linking the votes to suppressing critical torture memos from the Bush era.”  The claim struck me as highly implausible, if not absurd, on its face—who really thinks that Senate Republicans now care about running interference for the Bush administration?—and designed by someone to stigmatize Republican opposition to Johnsen and Koh.  I’ve confirmed with a reliable Senate staffer that it’s bogus. 

As this Wall Street Journal article today reports, the real debate over releasing the memos is occurring within the Obama administration—between the CIA and the Justice Department.

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