The new Justice Department began to take shape today as President-elect Barack Obama announced he would nominate a quartet of well known lawyers to key posts, reports the Washington Post. As previously reported in Crime & Justice News, David Ogden will be nominated deputy attorney general, second in command to Attorney General-designee Eric Holder Jr. Ogden, a partner at the WilmerHale law firm in Washington, previously led the Justice Department’s civil division.
Ogden has been overseeing the Justice Department transition team with Tom Perrelli, a Harvard law school classmate of Obama who was selected to lead the department’s civil division. Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan will become U.S. Solicitor General, who represents the administration at the Supreme Court. The job can be a springboard to an eventual nomination to the Supreme Court. Dawn Johnsen, an Indiana University law school professor who has been handling transition work for the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, was picked to lead the office. Johnsen has said that a review of all of the Bush era legal opinions would be a major undertaking for the new administration. Holder, the Attorney General nominee, will begin Senate confirmation hearings January 15.