Biden nominates Elizabeth Prelogar as solicitor general

Biden nominates Elizabeth Prelogar as solicitor general
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President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE on Wednesday nominated Elizabeth Prelogar, an appellate lawyer, to serve as solicitor general, after she has spent seven months in the role in an acting capacity.

If confirmed, she would serve as the Biden administration’s top lawyer to the Supreme Court. Prelogar has already argued two cases before the Supreme Court as acting solicitor general.

Prelogar clerked for Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandDurham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE when Garland was on the U.S. court of appeals in Washington, D.C. She also served as an assistant to the solicitor general from 2014 to 2019, during which time she also worked on former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. That investigation concluded in March 2019.

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Before Biden selected her to be acting solicitor general earlier this year, Prelogar had been working as a partner at law firm Cooley. It’s not clear why Biden waited as long as he did to nominate someone to fill the No. 4 role at the Justice Department.

While Biden nominated Prelogar on Wednesday, it could be weeks or months before the Senate confirms her. The upper chamber is recessing for the remainder of August on Wednesday and will not return until September.

The Supreme Court begins its next term in October with oral arguments, which could set a deadline of sorts for the Senate to confirm Biden’s pick.

There are a number of Biden nominees awaiting a Senate confirmation vote.

Vice President Harris has had to cast tie-breaking votes in the 50-50 Senate to confirm a handful of Biden nominees who have run into opposition from Republicans. It’s unclear how Prelogar’s nomination will be received by GOP lawmakers, but some will likely scrutinize her for her role in the Mueller investigation. 

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Prelogar, a Harvard Law School graduate, also clerked for Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE and Elena KaganElena KaganTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Texas, abortion and the tyranny of the shadow docket Senate panel will probe Supreme Court's Texas abortion ruling, 'shadow docket' MORE.

She would be the second woman in history to serve as solicitor general permanently, after Kagan held the role in the early days of the Obama administration before then-President ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE nominated her to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court.

Prelogar would have the benefit of more than half a year of experience in the role of acting solicitor general under her belt if she is confirmed to the top post.

Updated at 9:19 a.m.