Nomination Update: Regina Benjamin and Dawn Johnsen

Senate Democrats are hopeful that the next couple of the weeks will bring advancements in approving President Obama’s executive nominees, 200 of which are stalled in the Senate. Two of these nominees are surgeon general nominee Regina Benjamin, and Office of Legal Counsel head Dawn Johnsen.

Benjamin, who has an impressive background in advocating for public health—which includes being a recipient of the Nelson Mandela award for Health and Human Rights–awaits approval from the full Senate. She was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday October 8. If approved, Benjamin  would serve as the nation’s chief health advocate.

Johnsen, who is a professor of constitutional law, still has a difficult road ahead of her. Republicans have protested her nomination because of her past work in abortion rights and her critiques of the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics. We previously blogged about Johnsen’s nomination here and here.

Both Johnsen and Benjamin have stood up for women’s rights, and are more than qualified for their potential positions. We hope that the Senate will act quickly to confirm these nominees.


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