Once again, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. The vote was along party lines, 12-7. BLT reports:
Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, still has a long way to go if she is to be confirmed. Republicans are likely to block her nomination on the Senate floor, as they did last year, because of her views on national security and abortion, and it’s not clear that Democrats have the 60 votes they would need to force a confirmation vote. The Office of Legal Counsel has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since July 2004, in part because Democrats blocked Bush nominee Steven Bradbury for four years.
Although Johnsen appears to have the support of home-state Republican Senator Richard Lugar, at least one Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson, has indicated his opposition to Johnsen’s confirmation.
UPDATE: According to Firedoglake’s Empty Wheel, Senate Democrats had 60 votes to confirm Johnsen last year but failed to get the job done.