The Senate late Thursday signed off on two pending nominees for top positions in the U.S. Justice Department.
Ignacia Moreno, a former environmental counsel at General Electric, was confirmed 93-0 as assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. She was principal counsel in the division during the Clinton administration and won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24.
Laurie Robinson was confirmed without a formal vote as assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, which provides grants to states and localities. She held the same position during the Clinton administration and has since been in the Criminology Department at the University of Pennsylvania. The Judiciary Committee endorsed her Oct. 22.
That leaves three high-level Justice Department nominees awaiting votes by the full Senate: Dawn Johnsen for the Office of Legal Counsel, Mary Smith for the Tax Division, and Christopher Schroeder for the Office of Legal Policy.
Also winning confirmation Thursday without opposition were two D.C. labor lawyers nominated for seats on the Merit Systems Protection Board, which rules on employment disputes for much of the federal workforce. Susan Grundmann, general counsel since 2002 to the National Federal of Federal Employees, will be chairwoman. Anne Wagner, general counsel of the Personnel Appeals Board of the Government Accountability Office, will be vice chairwoman.
UPDATE (11:16 a.m.): A statement from Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Moreno's confirmation: "Reinvigorating the traditional missions of the Justice Department, including protecting our nation’s environment, has been one of my top priorities since taking office. Ignacia is a talented and experienced attorney who will bring strong leadership to this important division. I hope for rapid consideration of the other Justice Department nominees pending before the Senate."