President Obama is faced with a significant challenge and opportunity.
The top three jobs at the Justice Department will soon be vacant, and just four of Obama’s 11 choices for assistant attorney generals have been confirmed, CBS News reports.
The vacancies leave a power vacuum at an agency that has been very active in law enforcement issues.
“It’s always a challenge because the senior-level positions require Senate confirmation, and it can be difficult to move these nominees through a confirmation vote,” Thomas Dupree, who served as deputy assistant attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, told CBS News. At the same time, he said, “It’s an opportunity for [the president] to identify new people who will bring new energy and new ideas into the administration.”
The vacancies also offer a good opportunity for the administration “to look at the whole matrix” of skills and experience that fit the needs of the country, said Robert Raben, an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration.