Biden makes selection for his top Supreme Court lawyer

Politics
Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan on Tuesday, a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joining to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to be his administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer on a permanent basis.

Prelogar has served in the position on an acting basis since January, arguing two cases before the Supreme Court in that role last term.

Prelogar is a seasoned appellate lawyer who served from 2014 to 2019 as assistant to the solicitor general. If confirmed, she would be only the second woman to lead the solicitor general office on a permanent basis. The other — Elena Kagan, solicitor general from 2009 to 2010 — is now a Supreme Court justice.

During her prior tenure at the Justice Department, Prelogar was tapped to serve on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election as an assistant special counsel to Mueller.

She has also spent time as a partner at Cooley LLP and an associate at Hogan Lovells, and has taught a course at Harvard Law School on Supreme Court and appellate advocacy.

After graduating from law school, Prelogar clerked for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She then served back-to-back Supreme Court clerkships for Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Kagan. After that, she joined Hogan Lovells in its Supreme Court and appellate practice.

Prelogar completed a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland before attending law school. She studied English and Russian as an undergraduate at Emory University.

She lived for a year in St. Petersburg, Russia, studying press censorship on a Fulbright Fellowship. As Miss Idaho 2004, Prelogar also spent a year traveling to classrooms around Idaho to raise awareness about showing sensitivity to individuals with disabilities.

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