Ex-Supreme Court Litigator at Jenner Nominated for Solicitor General
Posted Jan 25, 2011 6:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A former Jenner & Block partner who oversaw the firm’s Supreme Court practice has been nominated to be solicitor general.
The nominee, Donald Verrilli Jr., left Jenner in 2009 to become associate deputy attorney general, according to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. Last year he became White House deputy counsel working on matters such as health care and the BP oil spill.
Verrilli has participated in 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued 12 of them. He would take the place of Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who stepped in after Elena Kagan moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The BLT calls Verrilli “mild-mannered” and says he is “widely respected and well liked and known for the passion he brings to his work.” Jenner & Block managing partner Susan Levy says in a statement that Verrilli "embodies the highest ideals of the legal profession and he is regarded as one of the pre-eminent litigators in the country."
The New York Times points out his work on one potentially controversial case. Verrilli was among four lawyers who worked on an amicus brief supporting due process rights for accused enemy combatant Jose Padilla.
Some speculated Katyal was feared to be too controversial to win nomination, according to The BLT and the Wall Street Journal, because of his prior work on behalf of alleged terrorist Salim Hamdan. The case resulted in a Supreme Court ruling that the president could not create military commissions without legislative authority.