Barack Obama announced his nominees for four top positions in the Justice Department yesterday, all of whom suggest a sharp turn away from Bush-era legal policies. Among them is Elena Kagan, the dean of Harvard Law School and a Clinton adviser, who is the first woman named solicitor general. In his announcement yesterday the president-elect said he hoped that a post-Bush Justice Department "once again fulfills its highest purpose: to uphold the Constitution and protect the American people."
Obama's other nominees for top legal jobs, under Attorney General Eric Holder, are also veterans of the Clinton administration:
- David Ogden, a Washington lawyer and Janet Reno's chief of staff, for deputy AG.
- Thomas Perrelli, also a Reno veteran, for associate AG.
- Dawn Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University, for head of the Office of Legal Counsel. Johnsen wrote an article last year entitled "What’s a President to Do: Interpreting the Constitution in the Wake of the Bush Administration’s Abuses."