Noel Francisco will be named the Trump administration’s solicitor general, according to Reuters.
The position is key, especially with legal challenges to controversial measures advanced by the president, such as his travel ban. The solicitor general brings forth the administration’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Previous reports had suggested that Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George T. Conway, a conservative lawyer, was under consideration for the post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Francisco Is Currently Serving as Acting Solicitor General
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Francisco has served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for the United States since January 23, 2017.”
Before that, he was a lawyer in private practice.
The conservative Federalist Society lists Francisco as an expert, describing him as representing “companies and individuals in civil and criminal litigation involving federal and state governments, including lawsuits against governments, enforcement actions by governments, and congressional investigations.”
2. Francisco Is a Former Partner at the Law Firm, Jones Day
According to the site Above the Law, Francisco is a former partner at Jones Day, a top law firm.
DOJ’s bio for Francisco says “prior to joining the Justice Department, he was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Jones Day, where he was the chair of the Firm’s Government Regulation Practice.”
Politico reports that Trump has drawn heavily from the firm, saying, “White House Counsel Don McGahn, who served as Trump’s campaign lawyer, was a partner at the firm and has recruited heavily from it, including Greg Katsas, a deputy counsel to the president at the White House, and William McGinley, Trump’s Cabinet Secretary.”
According to the Federalist Society bio, Francisco “represented the Noel Canning Corporation in its successful challenge to President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. He also represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a successful First Amendment challenge to a federal regulation requiring cigarette manufacturers to display graphic warnings on cigarette packages.”
3. Francisco Argued Before the Supreme Court in a Religious Freedom Case involving Contraceptives & Represented a Coal Group in Connection to the Sago Mine Accident
While at Jones Day, says the DOJ bio, Francisco “appeared several times before the Supreme Court, including in McDonnell v. United States, which involved the meaning of “official act” under federal bribery statutes; Zubik v. Burwell, which involved the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to regulations related to insurance coverage for contraception; and NLRB v. Noel Canning, which involved the Constitution’s recess appointment power.”
The bio says he has also “argued numerous cases in the lower federal and state courts on a wide range of constitutional, civil, and criminal matters.”
The Federalist Society said he also represented “the Free Enterprise Fund in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; and the International Coal Group in connection with a congressional investigation into the January 2, 2006 Sago Mine accident in Sago, West Virginia. He also advises clients in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the Alien Tort Statute, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).”
4. Francisco Served in the Administration of George W. Bush & Helped With His Recount
From 2001 to 2003, says DOJ, “Francisco served in the Office of Counsel to the President as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush, and from 2003 to 2005 he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel.”
Politico called Francisco a “seasoned Republican attorney” and said he once worked with Ted Cruz “on the legal team supporting George W. Bush during the 2000 Florida recount.”
5. Raised in New York, Francisco Served as a Law Clerk for Antonin Scalia
The DOJ bio says that Francisco was raised in Oswego, NY. “He received his B.A. with honors in 1991 from the University of Chicago. He received his J.D. with high honors in 1996 from the University of Chicago Law School.”
Francisco’s LinkedIn page says he also attended Brandeis University.
He also clerked for conservative stalwart Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “After law school, Mr. Francisco served as a law clerk first for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and then for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court,” reads the DOJ bio.
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