Administration

Biden nominates Elizabeth Prelogar as solicitor general

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President Biden 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 Garland 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 Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. That investigation concluded in March 2019.

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. 

Prelogar, a Harvard Law School graduate, also clerked for Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

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 Obama 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.

Tags Barack Obama Biden nominees Elena Kagan Elizabeth Prelogar Joe Biden Merrick Garland Robert Mueller Ruth Bader Ginsburg Solicitor General
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