Judd Gregg Quits as Commerce Pick, Cites Conservative Census Concerns

Maybe Obama needs the census to find a commerce secretary.


Judd Gregg has dropped out as commerce secretary, citing not only the stimulus package but also the decision to move control of the upcoming census into the White House. My colleague Michael Barone has written a couple of times on this issue. If you've not followed it closely, check out his posts here, here, and here to find out what conservatives are worried about.

This issue has been building over the last few days, culminating with the GOP threatening to sue if the White House retains control of the census:

GOP leaders sent Obama a letter to the White House on Wednesday demanding a reversal of the plan.

"If the president doesn't acquiesce to our letter, then we will seek the courts," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, at a news conference Thursday.

"Ultimately I don't think there's any question among federal courts about whether or not this is a personal power of the presidency or whether or not executive privilege would be waived if he started doing functions like this," Issa said.

A spokesman for Issa told FOXNews.com that the lawmaker wouldn't initiate a lawsuit but would lend his support to any individual or group that did.

Two commerce nominees out now; who's next? Maybe Obama needs "Would you be willing to serve as commerce secretary" added as a question on the 2010 Census survey.

Oh and: Cue another round of discussions about the meaning and limits of bipartisanship.

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