Blog: Coburn blasts Cherokee woman's nomination
"The Department of Justice is defending President Barack Obama's contentious nominee to head its Tax Division, arguing that her litigation experience outweighs her lack of specialization in tax law.

In a statement to The National Law Journal, the department downplayed the objections of Republican senators who have said that Mary Smith is unqualified to lead the division. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) last week called Smith the worst appointment Obama has made during his presidency.

"It is true that she is not a traditional tax lawyer or a tax specialist," the department's statement reads in part. "However, Smith has extensive experience in financial litigation, both for and against the government."

The statement continues: "The Tax Division is not a policymaking entity — it enforces the federal tax laws and defends the United States when it is sued by taxpayers seeking refunds for taxes that have been paid. For this reason, the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division needs first and foremost to be a person with significant litigation experience, preferably experience in tax, corporate or financial litigation.""

Get the Story:
Justice Department Says Tax Nominee is Qualified (The Blog of Legal Times 6/17)

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Obama names Cherokee woman to top DOJ post (4/8)