Earlier this month, we flagged Mark Gitenstein’s rumored contention for the Office of Legal Plans at DOJ as problematic. At the time, what I was hearing in Beltway grapevine was that Gitenstein was said to be a shoe-in for the job because of close ties to Vice President Biden, a long record of great civil rights work, and his time on the Obama campaign.
All that was swell, but it was his close ties to anti-individuals legal lobbying that was so troubling.
Several other groups joined in questioning Gitenstein’s appropriateness for a job wherein he’d be responsible for selecting federal bench nominees. Especially since Gitenstein had been paid handsomely to lobby for conservative nods by the Chamber of Commerce, as well as his work on behalf of stringent tort reform, forced arbitration, and other issues in the past.
Turns out all that opposition noise in the last few weeks has reaped a dividend. Via Roll Call:
Mark Gitenstein, the top choice to head the Justice Department office that oversees legal policy and judicial nominations, is no longer being considered for the position, an administration official confirmed….
“This is someone who has lobbied on a set of legal issues that would be his domain at the office of legal policy, an important policy office,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.
“It’s not just that he lobbied on those issues, but he would have to recuse himself from a lot of matters at minimum, which raises questions about whether he would be the right person for the job.”
Guess playing footsie with anti-liberal lobbying payola clients wasn’t the right move after all.
Overruled has more.