Litigator Eric McArthur is rejoining Sidley Austin after a 14-month stint as a deputy associate attorney general at the Justice Department, the firm announced.
The former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas has joined Sidley’s Supreme Court and appellate practice group as a partner, the post he held before taking the Justice Department job in August 2017.
At DOJ, McArthur assisted managing cases in the civil as well as environment and natural resources divisions. He also represented DOJ in coordinating litigation with the White House Counsel’s Office, according to a Sidley release.
McArthur worked with the same practice group at Sidley before, as an associate from 2008 through the end of 2013, and as a partner from 2014 until leaving for DOJ, according to his LinkedIn page.
The University of Chicago Law School grad served as a clerk for Thomas from 2007-2008.
“For me, it’s about the people, the work, and the culture,” McArthur told Bloomberg Law.
Another big draw was the depth and breadth of the firm’s appellate group, he said. Including McArthur, Sidley now boasts 30 lawyers who identify the Supreme Court and Appellate group as their primary area of practice, a firm spokeswoman said.
McArthur was involved in some high-profile matters during his time at DOJ.
Recently, he was involved in DOJ’s attempt to block Assistant Attorney General John Gore from being deposed about the origins of a proposed question in the 2020 census that would ask respondents whether they are citizens of the United States.
Critics argue the question would depress participation from immigrant communities, which could result in undercounting the residents in Democratic-leaning states.
McArthur represented DOJ in oral argument Sept. 25 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. The three-judge panel later upheld a federal judge’s order that Gore must be deposed.
On Oct. 22, the Supreme Court likewise declined to reverse the judge’s order, though the justices did temporarily block an order that would have forced U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to provide a deposition.