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White House close to selecting new attorney general: officials

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush has narrowed the list of candidates to replace outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive], with officials indicating that former Solicitor General Theodore Olson [official profile] is one of the top candidates for the position. Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Schumer (D-NY) [official website] was quoted in Wednesday's New York Times as saying that Olson's candidacy suggests the White House is not looking to work with the Democrats to reach a consensus on choosing a replacement, as Olson is considered by many to be very partisan. White House aides counter, however, that it would be difficult for Democrats to block a confirmation after spending months demanding that a new attorney general replace Gonzales.

Gonzales announced his resignation [letter, PDF; JURIST report] on August 27, saying that it will take effect on September 17 [JURIST report]. His resignation followed months of controversy over the Justice Department's handling of the firings of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive] and subsequent allegations that he may have perjured himself [JURIST report] in testimony before Congress. Current Solicitor General Paul Clement [official profile] will serve as acting attorney general until the Senate confirms a new permanent official. The New York Times has more.

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