Dawn Johnsen

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Dawn Elizabeth Johnsen is Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.


Johnsen clerked for the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, after she received a B.A from Yale University in 1983 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1986.[1]


Johnsen is currently a Professor of Law at the Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington, where she teaches and writes about issues of constitutional law. Her recent publications on issues of presidential power include Faithfully Executing the Laws: Internal Legal Constraints on Executive Power, 54 UCLA L. Rev. 1559 (2007) and What’s a President to Do? Interpreting the Constitution in the Wake of the Bush Administration’s Abuses, 88 Boston U. L. Rev. 395 (2008). She serves on the board of directors of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. She served in the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, as the acting assistant attorney general heading that office (1997-98) and as a deputy assistant attorney general (1993-96). In that capacity, she provided constitutional and other legal advice to the attorney general, the President, and the general counsels of the various executive branch agencies. From 1988-93, she was the legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).[2]

Obama appointment

In February 2009 Dawn Johnsen was nominated[3]by the Obama administration for the position of OLC in the DOJ.


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