After failing to win approval to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department last year, Dawn Johnsen was renominated by President Obama this year. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her; her nomination will now go before the full Senate.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue reacted this way:

In the minds of many, on both sides of the aisle, Dawn Johnsen is considered controversial for many reasons. Of interest to the Catholic League is one issue—her anti-Catholic bigotry.

In 1988, Dawn Johnsen worked on a brief, United States Catholic Conference v. Abortion Rights Mobilization, that sought to strip the Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status. The brief could have targeted all those religions which are anti-abortion, but it did not. Instead, it singled out the Catholic Church for punishment.

I am writing today to every member of the Senate asking just one question: Are you aware that Dawn Johnsen, who will soon be voted upon by the full Senate, sought to strip the Roman Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status in 1988?

My letter is intended as a big FYI.

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