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Should President-elect Joe Biden appoint former President Barack Obama to be his attorney general? That’s what a former attorney for two former Republican presidents is advocating.
Douglas Kmiec, professor emeritus of constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law who served in the Office of Legal Counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W Bush, claimed in an essay for The Hill that appointing Obama as head of the Justice Department would “re-establish the rule of law.”
According to Kmiec, Biden, as president, “will need to be highly capable at reassuring estranged voters — Democrat, Republican or independent — that he is governing in the national interest” — and appointing Obama as attorney general accomplishes such a monumental task.
Biden’s almost-plagiarized overuse of the red state/blue state metaphor from the 2008 election needs a definite boost of authenticity and actual demonstration of applied fairness. Instead of continuing to borrow Barack Obama’s trade line, he needs Obama himself. The fastest way to re-establish the rule of law is for Biden to nominate Obama as attorney general. If Biden simultaneously kept Christopher Wray as head of the FBI and made Justice’s current inspector general, Michael Horowitz, head of its Office of Legal Counsel, he would remove much division, doubt and uncertainty.
Still, Kmiec, who served as ambassador to Malta in the Obama administration, admitted such an appointment would be “unprecedented” — but called it “necessary.”
Surprisingly, Kmiec suggested that Obama serving as attorney general would serve as the perfect springboard for Obama to later serve on the Supreme Court.
“We have never had a former president take on the leadership of an executive department for a successor president, but nothing precludes it, save, possibly, Michelle Obama. We must leave those domestic relations to the former president — but [Obama] has the intelligence, youth and character to do the job,” Kmiec wrote.
“Besides, it’s perfect preparation for subsequent additional public service on the Supreme Court,” he added.
Who is Biden considering for AG?
According to CNN, the top contenders for the job are outgoing-Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is reportedly also under consideration for the job, although he has indicated that he is not interested in working for the Biden administration.