Back To School With Johnsen, Schroeder
By Andrew Ramonas | December 9, 2021 12:31 pm

Two stalled Justice Department nominees are slated for university teaching jobs again early next year,  according to university course schedules for spring 2010.

The teaching jobs give the two nominees a backup plan in case their confirmations continue to be stalled in the Senate.

Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen, who was nominated Feb. 11, will teach a class at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law this spring.

Office of Legal Policy nominee Christopher Schroeder, who was tapped June 4, will teach two courses, along with Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), for the Duke University School of Law in Washington this spring.

Dawn Johnsen (Indiana University)

Dawn Johnsen (Indiana University)

Johnsen’s constitutional law seminar is titled, “Congress, the Presidency and the Courts.” The OLC nominee’s course is slated to tackle such topics as “permissible forms of congressional oversight of the Executive, including limitations on the appointment and removal of executive branch officers” and “when may the president assert executive privilege and refuse to comply with requests for information from Congress or the courts,” according to the Indiana University law school’s Web site. Read the full course description here.

The OLC nominee taught a a seminar titled “Sexuality, Reproduction and the Law” this fall, while commuting between Washington and Bloomington, Ind.

Several Senate Republicans, joined by Democrats Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), have criticized Johnsen because of her vocal opposition to the Bush administration’s national security policies and her past work for the group formerly known as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. She was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 19 by a 11-7 vote. Specter, who was a Republican at the time, abstained from the vote. Nelson is not on the committee.

Christopher Schroeder (Duke)

Christopher Schroeder (Duke)

As for Schroeder, one of his courses requires students to participate in an externship in D.C. about federal policy making. The other class requires students to write about their federal policy making externship.

The externship course is designed for “students who are interested in public policy, public service, and careers in the public sector an opportunity to study federal policymaking firsthand,” according to the Duke law school Web site. The externship course description is here. The paper class description is here.

Schroeder also taught the externship course with Kaufman in spring 2009. Schroeder did not teach a course this fall.

The Senate Judiciary panel, of which Kaufman is a member,  approved Schroeder’s nomination by voice vote on July 28. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), complained on Nov. 17 about the delay in Senate action on a number of nominations, including that of Schroeder, noting in a press release,  “I can only imagine that the reason his confirmation is being delayed is part of the partisan effort to slow progress on judicial nominees.”


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