Gitenstein Out As Potential DOJ/OLP Nominee

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 reformforced 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.

13 Responses to "Gitenstein Out As Potential DOJ/OLP Nominee"
foothillsmike | Wednesday February 25, 2009 07:42 am 1

This is good news. Finally someone noticed Obama’s ban on lobbyists.

Christy Hardin Smith | Wednesday February 25, 2009 08:24 am 2
In response to foothillsmike @ 1

Very good news. This was just the absolute wrong choice of position for Gitenstein — no idea what they were thinking. He would have been well suited for any number of other positions — they really should have considered the recusal issues for him before they went down this road. Period.

Christy Hardin Smith | Wednesday February 25, 2009 08:35 am 3
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 2

In fact, given his background on any number of other legal issues, I’m surprised they didn’t bring him in to work with Greg Craig’s office inside the WH policy shop instead — there wouldn’t have been any stink about that, instead of subjecting him to this given his lobbying background. Truly, this one has made no sense to me from the beginning. At all.

MrWhy | Wednesday February 25, 2009 08:41 am 4

BDG – blogosphere done good

foothillsmike | Wednesday February 25, 2009 11:44 am 5

Now if we could just get them to pay attention to us before they make their picks. Might I suggest Gov. Dean for HHS.

brendanx | Wednesday February 25, 2009 11:46 am 6


dosido | Wednesday February 25, 2009 11:48 am 7

who is on this incredibly two left footed vetting team???

Hugh | Wednesday February 25, 2009 11:54 am 8

Obama has chosen mostly Establishment types to fill positions. I would think that these would be precisely the people who would know what is necessary to pass a nominee successfully through the system and yet again and again we see Obama’s choices running into problems for what are routine reasons.

In other words, whoever is doing the initial vetting sucks.

Hugh | Wednesday February 25, 2009 11:55 am 9

dosido, I owe you a drink. *g*

dosido | Wednesday February 25, 2009 12:09 pm 10

thanks. cheers!

egregious | Wednesday February 25, 2009 12:15 pm 11

i4u2bi | Wednesday February 25, 2009 12:17 pm 12

Where’s the Change ?(beef). Yes we (can?) Really?

Margot | Wednesday February 25, 2009 12:29 pm 13

New post —>

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