The Catholic University of America



Gathering Steam

The multiplying effect of the Internet has been demonstrated again this week, with the latest beneficiary being an op-ed authored by CUA law clinical assistant professor Victor Williams (left) that was published in a recent issue of the National Law Journal.
“Confirmation Combat” (Jan. 4, 2010) offered a robust defense of a president’s prerogative to place his own selections in high government positions. In Williams’ words, “President Obama should assertively fight for confirmation of his executive, agency and judicial nominees.”
During the daily White House briefing on Jan. 8, Sam Stein of asked presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs a question about the possibility of a presidential recess appointment for Dawn Johnsen, who was recently re-nominated to head the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice.
Through previous contact with Williams, Stein was already familiar with the arguments laid out in the op-ed, which included a rationale for using the recess appointment powers of the presidency.
When Stein wrote up his article for, based on the White House exchange, he included a significant quote from Williams’ work, mentioned CUA Law, and put in a link to the op-ed in his article.
“Stein’s article has generated quite a bit more play for the op-ed and the recess appointment idea. The quote bounced around the web on different sites,” said Williams. “Sad, but true, the HuffingtonPost gets a lot more Internet attention than does the National Law Journal.”