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Deputy AG nominee Ogden defends representing controversial clients

[JURIST] Nominee for Deputy Attorney General David Ogden [professional profile] Thursday defended his representation of parties opposing anti-pornography and pre-abortion parental notification laws during testimony [prepared statement; webcast] before the Senate Judiciary Committee [committee website]. Ogden, who is presently in private practice at the law firm WilmerHale [firm website], has come under attack from conservative groups, including Focus on the Family and the American Family Association (AFA) [advocacy websites], for his representation of clients including Playboy [Focus on the Family commentary], and his legal arguments against social issues [AFA commentary] such as prior parental notifications of abortions. Ogden is expected to be approved by the Judiciary Committee and then confirmed by the Senate. Ogden served as Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, under former president Bill Clinton.

President Obama announced his appointment of Ogden [JURIST report] to the position of Deputy Attorney General last month. Ogden's future boss, Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] was confirmed in a Senate vote on Monday [JURIST report]. Holder is the first African-American to lead the Justice Department. Last month, Holder told the committee [JURIST report] in confirmation hearings [materials; transcript] that he believes waterboarding [JURIST news archive] constitutes torture. Then-President-elect Barack Obama officially announced his nomination of Holder [JURIST report] in December. Holder served as Deputy US Attorney General [archive materials] during the Clinton administration. Republicans have criticized [JURIST report] Holder for his role in the 2001 pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich [Time backgrounder].

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