- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2009

Three high-ranking Justice Department nominees came a step closer Thursday to assuming their roles with the Senate Judiciary Committee easily approving their nominations.

The nominees - Thomas J. Perrelli for associate attorney general, Elena Kagan for solicitor general, and David S. Kris for assistant attorney general for the National Security Division - will now be sent to the full Senate for confirmation votes.

Those votes have not yet been scheduled.

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The nomination of Ms. Kagan, the dean of Harvard Law School, was approved by a 13-3 margin. She had faced minor Republican resistance because she supported Harvard’s ban on military recruiters on campus, which the school imposed over the military’s ban on open gays.

As solicitor general, Ms. Kagan would represent the U.S. government in cases before the Supreme Court. She has never argued a case before the Supreme Court, though that is not uncommon for an incoming solicitor general.

Mr. Perrelli, who had been counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration, was voted out of committee by a 17-1 vote.

As associate attorney general, Mr. Perrelli would supervise several Justice Department components, including the antitrust division, civil rights division and tax division.

Mr. Kris’ nomination was approved by a voice vote with no opposition. He had previously worked in the Justice Department during both the Clinton and Bush administrations and is considered a national security legal expert, particularly relating to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The Senate has still not voted on the nomination of David Ogden for deputy attorney general. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said cloture may be filed Monday on the Ogden pick, which would bring the nomination to the Senate floor for a vote.

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