Group Challenges Leahy Over Justice Picks

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The debate over President Barack Obama's recent Department of Justice picks continued, Monday, as a law group claimed the confirmation process involving the nominees was being "rushed" to avoid opposition.

A full page ad by The Judicial Confirmation Network ran in Monday's "Roll Call," a popular Capitol Hill newspaper. The ad criticized Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy for shortening the confirmation process on such "crucial" nominations.

 View the ad here.

"All three of these extreme nominees have lengthy liberal paper trails," said JCN chief counsel Wendy Long. "Senator Leahy is trying to short-circuit the process by ramming these nominations through without enough time for Senators to examine the records of the nominees, much less ask relevant questions."

Conservatives voiced concern last week about the judicial picks, especially over David Ogden, who was nominated to the No.2 spot in the Justice Department.

Opponents say Ogden worked on several controversial cases as a lawyer, including a Playboy law suit to remove filtering software in libraries put in place to keep children from accessing adult content. He has also fought in favor of gay rights and abortion.

Other concern is over Dawn Johnsen, who's said to be linked to an abortion rights group, and Thomas Perrelli, who fought to have Terry Schiavo's feeding tube removed.

Ogden appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, but has not been confirmed yet. Senators have until Feb. 12 to issues letters of concern about him.

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