by Countable | 2.12.19
The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of William Barr to be attorney general this week, likely on Wednesday or Thursday. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee.
Barr, 68, would serve his second stint as attorney general if confirmed ― he served in the role under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. He was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff Sessions.
Earlier in his career, Barr worked for the Central Intelligence Agency before serving as a law clerk on the D.C. Circuit and working on domestic policy during the Reagan administration. He was then appointed to positions in the Office of Legal Counsel and the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) by George H.W. Bush before his appointment as attorney general.
After leaving the DOJ in 1994, Barr worked as the general counsel of GTE Corporation until 2008 and argued several cases before federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He then worked as a consultant to corporations on matters of regulatory litigation.
The Judiciary Committee reported Barr’s nomination favorably on a 12-10 vote along party-lines on February 7th. That being said, it’s looking likely that the confirmation vote will be more bipartisan: Tuesday's 55-44 procedural vote to limit debate, Democratic Sens. Doug Jones (AL), Joe Manchin (WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) voted in favor of the nomination, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only Republican opposed.
Here’s a look at some of the more controversial issues that came up during his confirmation hearings:
The attorney general is the executive in charge of the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), which is responsible for enforcing federal law and administering justice.
DOJ’s composed of several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
DOJ’s administrative arm includes the U.S. Attorneys Offices, which prosecute cases for the federal government, and the Office of Legal Counsel which advises the president and executive branch agencies on legal matters, among other offices.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: C-SPAN / Public Domain)
Written by Countable