Prelogar Confirmed as Top Lawyer Before U.S. Supreme Court

Oct. 28, 2021, 7:45 PM

The Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee, Elizabeth Prelogar, to be U.S. Solicitor General, filling the Justice Department’s fourth highest-ranking post.

Prelogar, who was confirmed 53-36, follows in the footsteps of her former boss, now-Justice Elena Kagan, as the second woman to be confirmed to the job.

She will serve as the top lawyer for the federal government at the U.S. Supreme Court—a position that’s often referred to as the tenth justice given the deference that the justices have traditionally shown the Solicitor General’s office.

A bipartisan group of former Solicitors General dating back to the presidency of George H.W. Bush wrote in support of her nomination.

Her confirmation comes as the Justice Department prepares to argue Nov. 1 against Texas’ six-week abortion ban. The Justice Department hasn’t confirmed that she will argue the case. Along with abortion providers, the Biden administration sued to strike down the nation’s strictest abortion ban.

Prelogar served earlier this year as the acting Solicitor General, representing the government in a disputes over compensation for student athletes and anonymous donations to charitable organizations.

Biden nominated Prelogar Aug. 10 after leaving the post vacant for an unusually long period of time.

Prelogar is an alumnus of the office, having argued seven cases as an Assistant to the Solicitor General before being detailed to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Senate also voted 53-37 to confirm former Boies Schiller partner Hampton Dellinger to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy. The office serves as a policy advisor to the Attorney General and helps coordinate judicial nominations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at krobinson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com

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