Obama to Nominate Virginia Seitz to Office of Legal Counsel

Dec 22, 2010 2:06pm

ABC News' Ariane de Vogue reports: President Obama  plans to nominate Virginia Seitz to the Office of Legal Counsel. The Obama administration's first nominee, Dawn Johnsen, failed to win Senate approval and was forced to withdraw her name from consideration.

The OLC provides legal advice to the president and the executive branch on all constitutional questions and reviews pending legislation for constitutionality.

Seitz, 54, a long time lawyer with the firm Sidley Austin, is widely respected and has been on some longer lists as a potential Supreme Court nominee. However, she does not have a lot of experience working on national security issues, which could trouble Republicans in the Senate. 

She is perhaps best known for a brief she wrote in 2003 in a Supreme Court case upholding the University of Michigan's affirmative action program. Seitz represented former military officers who argued that affirmative action programs helped the military.

 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared with Seitz  last spring  nd widely praised her during a Georgetown event on women and the Supreme Court Bar.

Seitz graduated summa cum laude from Duke University and was a Rhodes Scholar. She graduated first from her class from Buffalo Law School.

Interestingly enough, since 2004 no one has been confirmed to head the office that John Yoo made famous. Steve Bradbury failed to get Senate confirmation under the Bush administration.

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