Courthouse News – “Facing opposition from fellow Republicans over her work with a pro-abortion lawyers groups, the head prosecutor in Washington withdrew herself from consideration for a top Justice Department position.”
Trump tapped US Attorney Jessie Liu earlier in March though she had not been officially nominated for the #3 top position in the DOJ as associate attorney general.
The job “directly overseeing agency divisions that handle civil rights, environmental and other types of litigation.
Liu is currently the US Attorney for the DC district. She was nominated in 2017 and passed the confirmation process with a simple voice vote in the Senate in September 2017.
The DOJ confirmed that Liu had pulled her name from consideration on Thursday and reports began to emerge that the reason was because she “faced opposition from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Senator Mike Lee, a committee Republican from Utah who is said to have been at the head of that faction, opposed to Liu’s nomination “due to questions about her record on life issues,” Lee’s spokesman Conn Carroll said Friday.
More than a decade ago, Liu belonged to the National Association of Women Lawyers, which filed legal briefs in support of abortion rights and opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito, a conservative justice.Courthouse News
According to CNN, “Liu would have been the most senior woman at a Justice Department with a large portfolio” and that, according to unnamed department ‘officials,’ “Barr personally made the case for Liu with Lee, but the Utah Republican refused to budge.”
A person familiar with the situation said Liu’s previous role as the vice president of the National Association of Women’s Lawyers over a decade ago proved to be the sticking point for some conservatives. While Liu considered it a professional networking opportunity, the group spearheaded a letter against Justice Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court and has signed on to a number of legal briefs supporting a woman’s right to make their own reproductive choices.
Liu did not sign onto NAWL’s letter opposing Alito, but maintained a leadership role at the organization during the time it went out. In fact, she had signed a letter in support of Alito as a Yale alum. And ultimately, she resigned from her position at the group and did not rejoin.CNN
Supposedly DOJ officials were not happy that Liu’s possible official nomination collapsed. An unnamed “senior Justice official” allegedly noted, “she’s a well-regarded conservative, in some ways more conservative than Lee.”
“Only a moron like Mike Lee would tank President Trump’s nominee, an Asian woman, for the department’s No. 3 job,” a senior Justice official told CNN. “This is beyond politically stupid.”
When reached for comment, Lee’s spokesman said, “Sen. Lee did oppose Mrs. Liu’s nomination due to her record on life issues.”
“Before Liu was confirmed to her current role as US attorney for DC, she had a rare meeting with the President — a move sources said at the time departed from past practice.”
Courthouse News reported “Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday he will appoint Liu as chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.”
“Jessie will be an integral part of our leadership at the department,” Barr said in a statement. “We will all benefit from her universally regarded expertise and dedication to public service.”