Press release: "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee [February 8, 2008] approved a measure sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Arlen Specter, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Schumer that would prevent the circumvention of the Senate's constitutional prerogative to confirm U.S. Attorneys. Under a provision inserted without notice into the USA Patriot Act reauthorization last year, the law was changed so that if a vacancy arises, the Attorney General may appoint a replacement for an indefinite period of time – thus completely avoiding the Senate confirmation process. The legislation approved by the Judiciary Committee...would restore the process in place before 2006. It would allow the Attorney General to appoint interim U.S. Attorney for 120 days. If after that time the President has not sent up a nominee to the Senate and had that nominee confirmed, then the authority to appoint an interim U.S. Attorney would fall to the district court. This was the law from 1986 to 2006. It was proposed by Reagan Administration and authored by Senator Strom Thurmond."