Ladies and gentlemen, it just doesn’t get any better on a Monday than to hear that the House of Representatives has selected Paul Clement as its outside counsel to take on the defense of DOMA after the President and the Department of Justice’s rather spectacular failure to do so.
In fact, since Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is no longer available as an appellate advocate, Clement is my top choice for any appellate argument, especially on a subject that will end up before the Supreme Court.
Clement’s resume’ reads like a lawyer’s fantasy: Georgetown, Cambridge, Harvard Law, Scalia law clerk, Solicitor General of the United States, even acting Attorney General of the United States – for a day!
Here’s his bio from the top-drawer law firm he currently works for, when he’s not busy teaching at Georgetown. And his Wikipedia entry. If you’re a legal geek like me, you’ll want to check out the list of high-profile cases he has under his belt. Wow.
One thing you’ll notice if you read his resume’ is that this fairly young (age 45) lawyer has already argued over 50 cases before the United States Supreme Court. I’ve not had the pleasure of watching him argue in person, but I’ve listened to the audio of a couple of his Supreme Court appearances, and I can tell you that this guy is not only the best around, but he has already been talked about as a future nominee to that court.
I’m breathing just a little bit easier today. This is really great news.
(Okay, it gets better. Speaker Boehner wants to take appropriations away from the Dept. of Justice to pay for Clement’s services. You’ve got to give a hat tip to Ed Whelan, who was the first person who suggested that course of action and also mentioned that the other day in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.)