Senate Panel Endorses Biden’s Appointment of Director of UW Native American Law Center as Top Home Office Lawyer


WASHINGTON – A Senate committee on Thursday approved the longtime director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington as the Home Office’s top lawyer, advancing President Joe Biden’s nomination to a final vote of the entire Senate.

By a 10-9 vote, with two Republicans joining the Democrats on the panel and one senator absent, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the appointment of Bob Anderson as Home Office attorney , a role in which he will lead a team of over 500 in the agency which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and more.

Anderson, a member of the Bois Forte Ojibwe Band, has held the post since Biden appointed him on an interim basis in January. Previously, he was a professor of law for 20 years at the University of Washington and headed the school’s Native American Law Center, while also being a visiting professor at Harvard Law School for the past 12 years.

Brian Gunn, a member of the Confederate Tribes of Colville and a lawyer who represents several Northwestern tribes on federal policy issues, said Anderson’s experience bodes well for the Northwest.

“Anderson has had a long career in both the federal government and academia that has focused on public lands, natural resources and Indian law,” Gunn said. “For the types of legal issues Interior will be looking at in the Pacific Northwest, I’m not sure there are more qualified candidates for the legal position.”

The Republican senators who voted in favor were Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi.


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