Mario Diaz

Johnsen’s radical views on abortion were in line with her career path, working for many years as the legal director for NARAL Pro-Choice America and as staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Reproductive Freedom Project, but they also show she is an ideologue, eager to put her personal views ahead of the law.

In fact, we know she cannot be trusted to abide by the Constitution. Johnsen actually served as a board member for the American Constitution Society, which rejects a straightforward reading of the Constitution, preferring a “living” one that they can mold to fit their personal ideologies.

In a new book titled, “The Constitution in 2020,” Johnsen writes the chapter “A Progressive Reproductive Rights Agenda for 2020,” where she “contemplate[s] the constitutional change [they] hope to promote between now and then.” On her wish list, of course, is government-run health care where you and I are forced to pay for other people’s abortions. She also wants to prepare for “future controversies, including those that might arise from medical and scientific advances” (emphasis mine).

You know, those evil pro-lifers keep coming up with stuff like 3D and 4D ultrasound. Next thing you know, women will actually know what’s inside their wombs!

Dawn Johnsen’s views are so radical that Democrats could not get her nomination through, even when they had a super-majority in the Senate. On Christmas Eve, her nomination was sent back to the President, along with several others.

Which brings us back to the President’s arrogance. No, he did not listen to the American people and even some senators who had publicly expressed concerns about her. He did not reconsider her record, which might have suggested to him she was better suited to work at Planned Parenthood than as counsel to his office. He simply re-nominated her.

If we could only just understand that he knows best and we should just trust his judgment. Ahem.

After the President re-submitted Johnsen’s name, several senators, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), and Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), asked for a new hearing on her nomination. On their letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) they wrote:

We believe many unanswered questions remain about Dawn Johnsen’s suitability to guide our Nation’s legal response to the war on terror through the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Ms. Johnsen’s record calls into question her dedication to aggressive Executive action in national security matters.

There is no question. These are legitimate concerns which represent the view of millions of Americans. However, if we go by recent experience, the senators should expect to have as much input on this as they have been allowed to have on health care.

Maybe Johnsen will help the President and remove herself from consideration, as we have seen with several other radical nominees (Tom Daschle, Van Jones and Erroll Southers come to mind), but to expect this Administration to think about our concerns on their own is not likely to happen. Unless the Brown ghost has scared some common sense into them, that is.


Mario Diaz

Mario Diaz is the Policy Director for Legal Issues at Concerned Women for America.

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