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Ex Acting Head of DOJ Civil Rights Division Rejoins Jones Day

Nov. 11, 2019, 9:40 PM

John Gore, former acting head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division, has rejoined Jones Day as a partner in its government regulation practice in Washington.

Over his tenure at the DOJ, Gore took a central role in the Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, penning the Justice Department’s letter to the Census Bureau requesting the question be added. In June the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision blocking the effort.

Gore left his post in the DOJ in early August and officially rejoined Jones Day on Nov. 6.

“John’s breadth of experience at the Department of Justice and his dealings with the highest levels of government enhance an already deep bench of lawyers with extensive understanding of how government agencies operate,” Don McGahn, former White House counsel and now co-leader of Jones Day’s government regulation practice, said in a statement.

In January 2017 Gore was one of more than a dozen Jones Day lawyers that moved into top positions within the Trump administration, joining initially as deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

In July of that year he was elevated to acting assistant attorney general after Frost Brown Todd partner Thomas Wheeler II stepped down six months into leading the division. In October 2018 Jones Day partner Eric Dreiband was confirmed as the division’s new head, and Gore became principal deputy assistant attorney general in November.

While at the DOJ, Gore led civil and criminal civil rights investigations and enforcement actions nationwide and launched several law enforcement programs, including an initiative to fight sexual harassment in housing and initiatives to eliminate employment discrimination.

Gore first joined Jones Day in 2006, following a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 2015, he became partner in its issues and appeals practice where he litigated complex appeals and trials involving products liability, antitrust issues, aviation regulation, class action defense as well as redistricting and voting rights.

Gore has experience working on the Republican side of voter issues.

He helped to defend redistricting efforts in Florida, Virginia, New York and South Carolina. He also represented Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a case that challenged Scott’s administration’s efforts to purge the voter rolls in the state of potential noncitizens ahead of the 2012 election. A federal appeals court ultimately rejected Scott’s move.

“John has addressed government-related matters from both the outside and the inside, which makes him an important resource for clients and a key part of our team,” said Kevyn Orr, partner-in-charge of Jones Day’s Washington office, in a statement.

“His substantial experience, from wide-ranging appellate court arguments to high-profile antitrust cases in the healthcare industry and other practice areas, helps us provide even better service to clients,” Orr added.

Gore’s return to Jones Day is just the latest addition by the law firm of former administration officials.

McGahn rejoined Jones Day in March after roughly two years as White House counsel. Schuyler J. Schouten, former senior associate counsel to Trump and deputy legal advisor to the National Security Council, joined the firm in June as a partner while associate White House counsel Robert Luther III joined Jones Day as counsel in its government regulations practice.

Gore will also get to work with former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil division Brett Shumate, who helped litigate the citizenship census question and moved over to Jones Day in August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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