Now that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE has been confirmed, the most important vacancy to be filled in the Justice Department is the office of the solicitor general.
The solicitor general argues the government’s cases before the Supreme Court and, as President Trump now knows from his loss in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it is key that the president have a superb lawyer to represent him.
Happily, there is an extraordinarily well-qualified candidate for this job who is in President Trump’s inner circle of friends. That candidate is George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, councilor to the president.
I have known her husband George for thirty years, having first met him when he was the president of the Yale Law School Federalist Society Chapter. George was a great law student leader and has always struck me as being an absolutely brilliant lawyer.
He has been a leading Wall Street litigator at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz since he became a partner there in 1994. Like me, George clerked for a great federal Court of Appeals judge, Ralph K. Winter.
George Conway is what President Trump would call a “strong” man.
In the 1990’s, he helped litigate Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit against President Clinton in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court ruled unanimously in Jones’ favor, that the proceedings not be deferred, and ordered Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonVirginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE to be deposed in the Paula Jones litigation. Clinton was deposed, and he lied under oath committing the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice for which he has eventually impeached by the House of Representatives.
Not many Wall Street lawyers working on the side litigate a case that nearly leads to the overthrowing of the president of the United States, but George Conway pulled that one off.
A few years later, George Conway showed again that he was a “strong” man when he became the first Federalist Society Lawyer to loudly and publicly denounce George W. Bush’s nomination of his crony Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers.
Bush had promised conservatives that he would nominate justices like Antonin Scalia if elected president, but he broke his word and nominated weak candidates like John Roberts, whom conservatives never favored, and then Harriet Miers, who was obviously a Bush crony. George Conway screamed bloody murder and soon former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork did too, and the Harriet Miers nomination fell apart.
As a result, conservatives got Sam Alito on the Supreme Court, a strong conservative, and for that we can thank George Conway.
George is a brilliant lawyer at the highest levels of constitutional theory. I attended a three day separation of powers conference with him that was taught by Justice Scalia and John Baker, and George outshone even Justice Scalia, my former boss. As a direct result of that conference, George was appointed to the Federalist Society’s Board of Visitors where he has been a font of good advice.
Fortunately for President Trump, he need not look far to find a superb and strong lawyer to represent him in the Supreme Court. George Conway fits that bill to perfection and as to his loyalty to his client there can be no doubt.
Steven G. Calabresi is the Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law at Northwestern University. Mr. Calabresi served as a Law Clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court, and he also clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Robert H. Bork and Ralph K. Winter.
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