Keisler is named to top Justice position

May 24, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER and Peter D. Keisler, a conservative Washington lawyer who withdrew from consideration last year for a seat on a federal appeals court after Maryland's two Democratic senators raised objections, has been named to a top post in the Justice Department.

Keisler, a 41-year-old Bethesda resident, will serve as principal deputy associate attorney general, the No. 2 official overseeing most of the department's divisions, including civil rights, antitrust, tax, environment, civil disputes and foreign claims.

Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski expressed staunch opposition last summer, after President Bush indicated that Keisler was his top choice for a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The senators argued that Keisler lacked the legal or civic experience in Maryland to fill what they consider a Maryland vacancy on that court.

They also noted that Keisler was not licensed to practice law in Maryland, one of five states covered by the 4th Circuit.

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