Posts Tagged ‘Susan Carbon’
Friday, February 12th, 2010

The Senate yesterday confirmed, by unanimous consent, Susan Carbon, President Obama’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women.

Susan Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Obama tapped Carbon on Oct. 5 for the directorship of the office that handles grants to combat violence against women. She succeeds Cindy Dyer, who resigned in January.

Carbon previously served as the supervisory judge of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Family Division. Read more about Carbon here.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said on the Senate floor yesterday that “anonymous” Republicans were to blame for delaying a vote on Carbon, who was reported out of committee by voice vote on Dec. 3.

“I ask Senators who think about blocking such nominations in the future to imagine what it is like to explain to a nonpartisan, earnest public servant, eager to assume a new position of national leadership, that her confirmation is being blocked because one or two anonymous Senators want a new Federal building or some other project in their States or want a defense contract awarded to a certain company or because they are mad at Attorney General Eric Holder for some unrelated issue,” Shaheen said.

The Senate has yet to consider two more directors of DOJ divisions that have won Judiciary Committee approval.

They are:

  • John Laub for the National Institute of Justice. He was reported out of committee on Dec. 3.
  • James P. Lynch for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. He was reported out of committee yesterday.

The panel has yet to consider Bea Hanson, who was nominated on Dec. 23 to lead the Office for Victims of Crime.

This report has been updated from an earlier version.

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Richard Shelby (Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has withdrawn most of his “holds” on presidential nominees, including President Obama’s picks for key Justice Department posts.

Shelby’s office announced late last night that the senator would drop his “blanket hold” on more than 70 nominees pending on the Senate Executive Calendar. A hold is when a senator — often anonymously — lets it be known he would oppose a unanimous consent request to bring a particular bill or nomination to the Senate floor. Without unanimous consent, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would have to make a debatable motion to bring the matter to the floor, thus raising the possibility of a filibuster. Senate leaders usually do not even begin that process, recognizing it would be very time-consuming.

The DOJ nominees who were caught up in Shelby’s hold were:

  • Mary L. Smith, to be Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. She was reported out of committee last Thursday.
  • Christopher Schroeder, to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. He also was reported out of committee on Thursday.
  • John Laub, to be director of the National Institute of Justice. He was reported out of committee on Dec. 3.
  • Susan Carbon, to be director of the Office on Violence Against Women. She was reported out of committee on Dec. 3.
  • Richard Hartunian, to be U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.
  • Andre Birotte Jr., to be U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.
  • Ron Machen, to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.

The Alabama senator had held up the more than 70 nominees since Thursday over concerns he has about a tanker contract that could bring 1,500 jobs to Mobile, Ala., and over funds he is requesting to build an FBI counterterrorism center in his state. Northrop Grumman is vying to win the tanker contract, and if successful, would assemble the planes in Mobile.

A spokesman for Shelby said the Republican had “accomplished” his goal by employing the “blanket hold,” according to Politico.

“The purpose of placing numerous holds was to get the White House’s attention on two issues that are critical to our national security – the Air Force’s aerial refueling tanker acquisition and the FBI’s Terrorist Device Analytical Center (TEDAC). With that accomplished, Sen. Shelby has decided to release his holds on all but a few nominees directly related to the Air Force tanker acquisition until the new Request for Proposal is issued,”  Shelby aide Jonathan Graffeo said in a statement, according to Politico.

Shelby still has holds on the nominations of Terry Yonkers, assistant secretary of the Air Force; Frank Kendall, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics; and Erin Conaton, undersecretary of the Air Force, Politico said.

Democrats and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had sharply criticized Shelby for the rare move to hold up all of Obama’s nominees who were waiting for votes in the full Senate. Last week, Gibbs said there likely wouldn’t be a “greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010.”

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Richard Shelby (Getty Images)

Seven Justice Department nominees that have been reported out the Senate Judiciary Committee might not receive votes on the Senate floor anytime soon thanks to Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Last night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that Shelby had placed a “blanket hold” on all nominations pending on the Senate Executive Calendar, including two Assistant Attorneys General nominees, two would-be directors of DOJ offices and three prospective U.S. Attorneys.

Those nominees are:

  • Mary L. Smith, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. She was reported out of committee yesterday.
  • Christopher Schroeder, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. He also was reported out of committee yesterday.
  • John Laub, Director of the National Institute of Justice. He was reported out of committee on Dec. 3.
  • Susan Carbon, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women. She was reported out of committee on Dec. 3.
  • Richard Hartunian, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.
  • Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.
  • Ron Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was reported out of committee on Jan. 28.

But the Republican’s beef isn’t with the nominees.

The Alabama senator is holding up the nominees over concerns he has about a tanker contract that could bring 1,500 jobs to Mobile, Ala., and over funds he is requesting to build an FBI counterterrorism center in his state, according to The Caucus blog on The New York Times Web site. Northrop Grumman is vying to win the tanker contract, and if successful, would assemble the plans in Mobile.

“Senator Shelby has placed holds on several pending nominees due to unaddressed national security concerns,” Shelby spokesperson Jonathan Graffeo said in a statement, according to The Caucus. “Among his concerns is that nearly 10 years after the U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the aging tanker fleet, we still do not have a transparent and fair acquisition process to move forward. The Department of Defense must recognize that the draft Request for Proposal needs to be significantly and substantively changed.”

He added: “Senator Shelby is also deeply concerned that the administration will not release the funds already appropriated to the FBI to build the Terrorist Explosives Devices Analytical Center. This decision impedes the U.S. military, the intelligence community, and federal law enforcement personnel in their missions to exploit and analyze intelligence information critical to fighting terrorism and ensuring American security worldwide.”

Shelby would be willing to speak with the Obama administration about his concerns at any time, according to the spokesman.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs condemned Shelby for the rare decision to hold up all of Obama’s nominees who are waiting for votes in the full Senate.

“I guess if you needed one example of what’s wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals to make government work better because he didn’t get his earmarks,” Gibbs told reporters today, according to the blog. “If that’s not the poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won’t be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010.”

The Democratic National Committee also posted a video on YouTube yesterday that alleges Shelby’s holds are threatening national security.

The senator’s holds don’t make it impossible for the Senate to consider nominees. Under normal circumstances, Senate leaders honor an individual senator’s hold. But if Majority Leader Reid wants to bring a nomination to the Senate floor, he could file a cloture petition. Cutting off debate on a nomination is a time-consuming process for the Senate and would be difficult for the Democratic majority with the addition of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to the Senate. Brown became the 41st member of the Republican Senate caucus yesterday, ending the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority.

Reid said on the Senate floor yesterday that the president might have to start considering recess appointments, which wouldn’t require confirmation.

“The president will look at all his options,” Gibbs said, according to The Caucus.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning gave its voice-vote approval to the nominations of two Justice Department directors and two U.S. Attorneys.

They are:

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Susan Carbon, who is nominated to be director of the Office on Violence Against Women. The supervisory judge of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Family Division was nominated Oct. 5. She would succeed Cindy Dyer, who resigned in January. Read more about Carbon here.

John Laub (University of Maryland)

John Laub (University of Maryland)

John H. Laub, who would be director of the National Institute of Justice. The University of Maryland professor was tapped Oct. 5. He would succeed David Hagy, who stepped down in January. Read more about the nominee here.

Mary Elizabeth Phillips, nominated to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Phillips, who was nominated Sept. 30, would succeed John Wood, who resigned in February. Read more about Phillips here.

Sanford Coats, who would be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Coats also was tapped on Sept. 30. He would succeed John Richter, who stepped down in August. Read more about the nominee here.

The panel has now endorsed 26 U.S. Attorney nominees, including 24 U.S. Attorneys who have been confirmed by the Senate. Eight other would-be U.S. Attorneys are still pending before the committee.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee this week is tentatively slated to vote on the nominations of two Justice Department directors and two U.S. Attorneys, according to the panel’s Web site. The nominees are among a long list of bills and nominations on the panel’s Thursday business meeting agenda.

They are:

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Susan Carbon, who is nominated to be director of the Office on Violence Against Women. The supervisory judge of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Family Division was nominated Oct. 5. She would succeed Cindy Dyer, who resigned in January. Read more about Carbon here.

John Laub (University of Maryland)

John Laub (University of Maryland)

John H. Laub, who would be director of the National Institute of Justice. The University of Maryland professor was tapped Oct. 5. He would succeed David Hagy, who stepped down in January. Read more about the nominee here.

Mary Elizabeth Phillips, nominated to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Phillips, who was  nominated Sept. 30, would succeed John Wood, who resigned in February. Read more about Phillips here.

Sanford Coats, who would be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Coats also was tapped on Sept. 30. He would succeed John Richter, who stepped down in August. Read more about the nominee here.

Eight other would-be U.S. Attorneys are pending before the committee, including four nominees that President Barack Obama tapped yesterday.

The committee may also resume its work on legislation that would shield journalists from being required to divulge their sources in many cases. The panel last took action on that bill at its Nov. 19 session.


Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) almost thought he had an anarchist in his midst during a Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing today.

John Laub (University of Maryland)

John Laub (University of Maryland)

The panel’s ranking member questioned John Laub, who is nominated to lead the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, about a paper he wrote as a doctoral student that seemed to espouse anarchism. But Laub was ready.

The nominee said he had a feeling that Sessions would ask about the paper he wrote in 1978 when he was studying for his Ph.D at State University of New York at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice.

“I re-read the article 30 years out and frankly didn’t understand much of it,” Laub said at the hearing, drawing laughter from the audience. He added that his track record as a professor — most recently at the University of Maryland — shows that he is not an anarchist.

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

Susan B. Carbon (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges)

The panel also heard from Susan Carbon, who is nominated to head the department’s Office on Violence Against Women. The state judge, who supervises the New Hampshire judicial branch family division, said, if confirmed, she would focus on the prevention of domestic violence and efforts to help children suffering from the effects of domestic abuse.

“I know that the issue of violence against women is extremely important to this administration and I’m particularly humbled to have been nominated for this position,” Carbon said.

The panel has yet to schedule votes on Laub and Carbon, who were nominated last month.