Noel Francisco, Washington lawyer, is awaiting nomination for the position of Solicitor general by President Trump. Two sources familiar with the hiring process revealed that he’ll be the government’s top advocate before the U.S Supreme Court.
Although the role of the Solicitor General doesn’t usually make many headlines, it will certainly change in the next four years. White House is expected to spend a good amount of time in court now that Trump’s administration is seeking to disrupt and “decongest administrative state,”
Francisco had found himself in the midst of a prominent case as acting solicitor general when he had to side with the government in arguing that Trump’s travel ban should be implemented.
The Hot Air reports:
Francisco is not an unknown quantity. He began his law career as a clerk for two well-regarded conservative jurists, Judge J. Michael Luttig on the 4th Circuit and then for legendary originalist Justice Antonin Scalia. A few years later he moved into the Bush administration, first in the Office of Counsel in the White House, and then as a deputy assistant Attorney General. From 2005 until now, Francisco was a partner at the Washington DC law firm Jones Day, where he chaired the firm’s Government Regulation Practice — a handy background for deconstructing an administrative state, to say the least. On top of that, AllGov notes that Ted Cruz is one of Francisco’s close friends.
Most recently, he represented Republican former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell in a successful attempt to throw out corruption convictions. The court in June ruled 8-0 in favor of McDonnell.
In another case decided last year, he represented religious nonprofits that sought an exemption from a provision of the Obamacare health law that requires employers to provide women workers with health insurance that includes contraception coverage. The high court in May sidestepped a major ruling in that case by sending it back to a lower court.
In the third case, Francisco led a business industry-led challenge to presidential appointment powers, resulting in a 2014 ruling that limited the ability of the White House to fill positions without Senate approval.
Francisco is clearly qualified for this position. Less clear is why the Senate confirmation is required. There is no shared authority between this position and the executive or legislative branches, therefore, there is no expectation of a rough ride for Francisco with the exception of opportunities to hit the administration over the so-called “travel ban.”