Rachel Brand

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Rachel L. Brand was nominated March 29, 2005, by President George W. Bush as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy in the Department of Justice. Her nomination was sent to the Senate April 4, 2005, and she was confirmed July 28, 2005. Brand replaced Daniel J. Bryant, who resigned.


Rachel L. Brand "of Iowa, to be Assistant Attorney General (Legal Policy) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Brand currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice. She previously served as Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Earlier in her career, Ms. Brand served as Associate Counsel to the President. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota - Morris and her J.D. from Harvard Law School." --Personnel Announcement, White House, March 29, 2005.

Confirmation Concerns

In his May 12, 2005, statement before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy said that "Brand has held several impressive positions in her brief career, including working in the White House Counsel’s Office and her current position as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

"Unfortunately," he said, "it appears she brings very little depth of experience to a position that is instrumental in setting out DOJ priorities and recommending new judges. By way of comparison, Eleanor Acheson, President Clinton’s nominee for the same position, had practiced law for 19 years prior to her appointment, and Viet Dinh, President Bush’s first nominee to head OLP was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who had published several scholarly articles and op-eds and had held several congressional positions by the time of his appointments.

"Ms. Brand has apparently been heavily involved in the judicial nominations process both at the White House and at DOJ. Given this administration’s pattern of nominating ideologically extreme candidates for the judiciary and making politically aggressive nominations decisions such as re-nominating candidates previously disapproved, I would like to hear about Ms. Brand’s role in crafting nominations policy and her views about ways to reach consensus in this process. I also look forward to hearing about Ms. Brand’s views about the important congressional and judicial checks set out in the Patriot Act. I am interested in the policies and priorities she has developed for OLP. I would like to hear about DOJ’s plans to carry out the mandates and priorities set out in the Justice For All Act," Leahy said.

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