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Oaklander’s confirmation hearing is today

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee later this morning will hold a hearing on whether to confirm Tony West, 43, of Oakland as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The hearing begins at 11:15 a.m. PDT; watch the live Webcast here. The committee’s Web site also offers West’s answers to the committee’s written questions, as well as several dozen letters submitted in support of his confirmation.

A few excerpts —

From California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s letter: “I was impressed by Tony’s ability to work with people across the political spectrum and to build consensus even in the face of difficult issues.”

From former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis’ letter: “I have watched him develop as a lawyer, a prosecutor and as a real champion of American values. He is intelligent, articulate and strong. He has precisely the qualities the Justice Department needs as it emerges from what for many of us was a dark and troubling eight years.”

From former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno’s letter: “I am proud to have worked with him, and I know that he is committed to the Department and its mission to uphold the law. Tony will bring able leadership and the highest integrity to the Department of Justice.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.