After submitting our letter of support for President Trump’s nomination of William Barr to be the next U.S. Attorney General last week, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) was present at the judiciary hearings yesterday and today. We are happy to report that our initial assessment of the excellent qualifications of the nominee were evident to all in attendance on both sides of the aisle.
Mr. Barr is a brilliant legal scholar with unparalleled credentials. He has already served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush where he was praised for his professionalism and independence. Before that, he joined the Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General and was in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel (1989), and as Deputy Attorney General (1991).
He followed his distinguished public service with equally impressive legal achievements in private practice where he served as an Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Verizon and General Counsel at GTE Corporation.
His extensive experience shone at the hearings. He answered every question thoughtfully and intelligently, making no political assurances, no matter how hard some Democratic senators tried. Instead, he committed himself to the same principles that guided him the first time he took the position when he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He said:
The Attorney General has very special obligations, unique obligations. He holds in trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. It is the Attorney General’s responsibility to enforce the law evenhandedly and with integrity. The Attorney General must ensure that the administration of justice – the enforcement of the law – is above and away from politics. Nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or the Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the enforcement of the law.
The testimony in support of his nomination was also impressive. Former Attorney General and Judge Michael Mukasey spoke with the highest regard of Barr’s record. He said:
It is not only the jobs he has had, but also what he has done in them and how he has done it that makes him a superbly qualified nominee. He has successfully managed a hostage crisis at a federal prison; he has helped implement the Americans With Disabilities Act; he has led in active civil rights law enforcement; he has overseen crime initiatives aimed at combating violent gangs and drug dealers; he has given advice to the White House even when it was not necessarily the advice the White House wanted to hear.
Given his record and character, Mr. Barr should be confirmed unanimously once again. The challenges ahead for the DOJ are incredibly difficult, and it will take someone with Barr’s experience and intellect to command the respect needed inside the department to get the job done aside from the hyper-partisan commentary that dominates public discourse today.
The nomination will soon move to the full Senate, and a final vote is expected in around two weeks.