GOP’s Go-To Lawyer Paul Clement is 10th Justice

The U.S. Solicitor General, who argues more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than any other lawyer, is sometimes referred to as the 10th justice. But this year, that title might more appropriately be held by Paul Clement, the 45-year-old attorney who will be arguing on behalf of the states challenging the Obama health care reform law.

Clement will be arguing seven cases during the current Court term – the most in a single term by a lawyer in private practice since at least the 1970s, reports Bloomberg News’ Greg Stohr. Clement is arguing the GOP position on illegal immigration, voter-identification laws, gay marriage and recess appointments. In January, his arguments about redistricting on behalf of Texas Republicans carried the day.

“I’m not going to deny being a Republican, but I don’t think that really dictates what kind of cases I’m interested in taking,” Clement told Stohr. A partner in the 13-attorney Washington, D.C. firm Bancroft PLLC, Clement also argued on behalf of reducing prison overcrowding in California and has represented two wrongfully convicted men who sought to sue prosecutors.

A former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia who worked with Barack Obama at the Harvard Law Review, Clement served as President George W. Bush’s Solicitor General. He was the youngest solicitor general, at 38, in 115 years, reports the Associated Press.  He’s argued more than 55 cases before the High Court, according to his firm’s website.

“You want him; he is the best advocate of his generation,” his former boss and Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr  tells the Washington Post.

Last month at a Washington, D.C. program sponsored by Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog, Clement previewed the arguments he’ll make on health care later this month:


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