President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has withdrawn her bid for confirmation, after several Republicans objected to her criticism of the Bush administration's terrorist interrogation policies. Dawn Johnsen's withdrawal—a setback for the Obama administration—was announced by the White House on a day capital lelites were absorbed in the news that Justice John Paul Stevens would retire from the Supreme Court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had recommended Johnsen's confirmation on party-line votes. But several Republicans objected to her sharp criticisms of terrorist interrogation policies under President George W. Bush, and the full Senate never voted on her nomination. The decision about who should lead the little-known office became a political flashpoint because of the controversies surrounding Bush-era interrogations of terror suspects. (Read more Dawn Johnsen stories.)