Bench Memos

OLC Nominee Dawn Johnsen and Pre-Confirmation Etiquette

The controversial nomination of Dawn Johnsen to Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice seems to be going nowhere.  But from what I hear from reliable sources, Johnsen has been involving herself in OLC’s decisions on hiring junior lawyers.  If those reports are accurate, Johnsen’s actions would seem a serious violation of the Senate’s understanding of pre-confirmation etiquette—an etiquette that is especially punctilious for nominees who have generated controversy—and would give senators additional reason to oppose her nomination.