Sunday, May 15, 2011

Donald Verrilli set to be next Solicitor General of the United States

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Donald Verrilli to be the next Solicitor General of the United States. NPR recently reported the 17-1 vote for confirmation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate is expected to vote for confirmation barring any stall tactics. Upon confirmation, Verrilli will become the Government's first advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court and he decides which government appeals to bring in the lower courts. There has been no confirmed solicitor general since Elena Kagan was appointed to the Supreme Court.

AmLaw Daily and SCOTUS  report on the vote and the tepid support from GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.  Only GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama voted against Verrilli.  Verrilli's nomination ran into Republican hostility after the Obama administration announced it would not defend the constitutionality of the federal law banning gay marriage.  Although Verrilli personally had nothing to do with that decision,  his nomination has been held up by the reality of those politics.  Watch to see if the full Senate confirms Verrilli quickly on his merits, which are aplenty, or whether there is grandstanding on this hot button federal law banning gay marriage issue.  I expect Verrilli to be confirmed before summer's end as even the Senate must concede that every president is entitled to have a well qualified advocate to represent the administration before the nation's highest court.  And no one, not even the president's harshest critics, claims that Donald Verrilli is not qualified. Here is his bio.

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