President Obama won’t nominate Mayer Brown partner Mark Gitenstein to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy after an outcry over his lobbying, Roll Call reports. A former top Judiciary Committee staffer for then-Sen. Joe Biden, Gitenstein drew the ire of Public Citizen and other groups. Liberal activists were particularly angry about his work on tort reform for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Gitenstein also served as an outside counsel for the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, which led the push for a 2005 law limiting class-action lawsuits by pushing more of them into the federal court system.
The Office of Legal Policy oversees judicial nominations and legal policy. Gitenstein hasn’t registered as a lobbyist since July 2008, when he began work for the Obama campaign. Obama campaigned against the influence of lobbyists. He issued an executive order in January requiring senior appointees in his administration to recuse themselves for two years from any matters that “directly and substantially” affect their former clients.