Sen. Nelson to oppose OLC nominee

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) is likely to oppose the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel.

Nelson is the first Democrat to suggest opposition to Johnsen, who has been criticized by Republicans for her positions on interrogation policy and abortion.

"Senator Nelson is very concerned about the nomination of Dawn Johnson, based on her previous position as Counsel for NARAL," Nelson's spokesman tells Greg Sargent. "He believes that the Office of Legal Counsel is a position in which personal views can have an impact and is concerned about her outspoken pro-choice views on abortion."

Republicans seized on a legal brief Johnsen wrote while working for NARAL in which she argued that restricting abortion rights might violate the 13th amendment. "Forced pregnancy," she argued, was similar to "involuntary servitude."

Johnsen is also critical of Bush-era interrogation and detainee policies, a sticking point for Republicans because the Office of Legal Counsel is the same office that produced the interrogation memos released recently.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has accused Johnsen of lacking "the seriousness and necessary resolve" to fight terrotism,

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