We all know the newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R) will be a big swing vote in all the Healthcare debate that is again dominating the headlines. As important as that vote is, Senator Brown could also play a huge role in the nomination process of Dawn Johnsen the newest anti-lifer the Obama administration has nominated to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University, is a former legal counsel for the pro-abortion group NARAL.
Many Pro-Life Republicans oppose her because of her extreme beliefs on abortion; she has gone as far as to compare pregnancy to slavery. When Pro-Abortion Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter (D) originally opposed Johnsen, but switched his position to support her, it looked as if she had a chance at confirmation. With the loss of Senator Kennedy, who supported Johnsen, and the addition of Brown, things may have changed.
We do not expect Brown to stand against Johnson due to her anti-Life stance as much as for her views of how terrorists should be treated. While Brown is only moderate, at best, on the abortion issue, he has strong opinions that terrorists should be treated like terrorists while Johnsen believes we should give terrorists the same rights afforded to any other criminal. I understand terrorism and abortion do not always go hand and hand but in this case it may be the single connection that can keep one of the worst anti-life nominations out of office.
Because Senate Republicans are essentially filibustering Johnsen's nomination, it will require 60 votes to confirm her for the influential post. Right now there are only 59 votes to confirm and Brown will yet again find himself the all important swing vote.