President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated acting US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to permanently take on the role of representing the US government in cases before the Supreme Court.
Filling in the top job on an acting basis since January, Prelogar has played a key role managing a wave of Biden administration early reversals on legal positions held under the Trump administration, such as on the Affordable Care Act.
If confirmed by the US Senate, Prelogar would also defend the Democratic President’s policies that may face legal challenges.
Prelogar is a veteran of the Office of Solicitor General, having served as an assistant in the office from 2014 to 2019, where she argued cases as an appellate attorney. She argued seven cases before the Supreme Court in that role, including US v Bryant, a case that questioned whether uncounseled, misdemeanor convictions heard in Indian tribal court could be used as part of domestic violence cases heard in federal court. The case was decided unanimously in favor of the United States.
She was also tapped to serve as an assistant for special counsel’s Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation from 2017 to 2019, advising the team on legal strategy and drafted “principal sections” of the team’s final report. She was involved in the case against former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but did not appear in hearings. Prelogar speaks fluent Russian and previously studied Russian censorship laws.
After her time on Mueller’s team, she was briefly a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP in Washington, DC, before joining the Biden administration.
After graduating from Harvard Law, Prelogar worked as a clerk to now-Attorney General Merrick Garland back when he was a federal appellate judge. She also clerked for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Elana Kagan.
The solicitor general position requires confirmation from the US Senate.
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