Senate Confirms Schroeder
By Andrew Ramonas | April 21, 2022 2:43 pm

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Justice Department Office of Legal Policy nominee Christopher Schroeder by a 72-24 vote.

Christopher Schroeder (Duke University)

Schroeder, a Duke University law professor and former Office of Legal Counsel acting Assistant Attorney General, waited months for a vote in the full Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee initially endorsed Schroeder for the post last summer by voice vote, but his nomination spent several months stalled on the Senate floor before being returned to the White House in December. President Barack Obama re-nominated him in January and the panel approved him again in February on a 16-3 vote.

Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted against Schroeder in committee. Kyl expressed concern in February that Schroeder, who has been a critic of President George W. Bush’s national security policies, will vet judicial candidates. Schroeder will play a leading role in readying the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) lashed out at Republicans for delaying a vote on Schroeder and making it more difficult for the Obama administration to review judicial nominees. There are more than 100 vacant seats on the federal courts.

“What has this place come to … when we have filibusters on routine nominations like this?” Leahy said on the Senate floor.”We’ve never had anything like this before.”

Republicans have maintained that they are handling nominations responsibly. They have said their Democratic colleagues have the ultimate authority to hold votes because they control the Senate schedule. No Republican senators spoke on the floor during Wednesday’s debate on Schroeder’s nomination.

Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), a longtime friend of Schroeder, said Obama “has chosen wisely” in selecting the law professor to lead the DOJ office.

“Chris Schroeder has the experience, the intellect and the judgment to be a superb leader of the Office of Legal Policy,” Kaufman said on the Senate floor.

Tax Division nominee Mary L. Smith is the only other Assistant Attorney General candidate who is still pending in the Senate.


In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder welcomed Schroeder to the DOJ.

“I am pleased to welcome Chris back to the Department of Justice,” Holder said. “The Office of Legal Policy serves a crucial role at the department in coordinating some of our most important projects and initiatives.  Chris is an experienced and talented attorney, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of the American people”

The Senate roll call vote is below. Although Kyl opposed Schroeder in committee, he voted in favor of the nominee’s confirmation. Cornyn and Coburn, the other senators who opposed Schroeder in committee, voted against the nominee’s confirmation.

YEAs —72
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —24
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting - 4
Alexander (R-TN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Byrd (D-WV)
Johanns (R-NE)

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