Legal expert calls on Biden to “nominate Obama as attorney general”

A former professor of constitutional law has called on President-elect Joe Biden to nominate former President Barack Obama to serve as attorney general.

Writing in The Hill newspaper, Douglas Kmiec argued that while Obama leading the Department of Justice would be unprecedented, it would help Biden to show that he’s governing “in the national interest.”

Kmiec, a professor emeritus of constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law, served as head of the Office of Legal counsel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W Bush.

In his op-ed, Kmiec discussed potential Republican challenges to the ratification of Biden’s Electoral College win when Congress meets on January 6.

Several GOP members of the House of Representatives are expected to object to slates of electors, while Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is perhaps the most high profile Republican to announce his plan to object so far.

Kmiec argues that these objections will mean Biden will want to reassure “estranged voters—Democrat, Republican or independent—that he is governing in the national interest.”

“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,” Kmiec writes.

“Instead of continuing to borrow Barack Obama’s tradeline, he needs Obama himself. The fastest way to re-establish the rule of law is for Biden to nominate Obama as attorney general.”

t clear what Biden’s plans are with regards to the Department of Justice, the FBI, or the Office of Legal Counsel. While the president-elect has announced other cabinet picks, his decision not to name a choice for attorney general so far has generated much speculation.

Kmiec notes that “[a]ppointing Obama certainly would be unprecedented” as a former president has never gone on to lead a department of the federal government in this way, but Kmiec goes on to say it would be “perfect preparation for subsequent additional public service on the Supreme Court.”