WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today welcomed Donald B. Verrilli Jr. as the next Solicitor General of the United States. Verrilli was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate, 72-16. President Obama nominated Verrilli in January 2011.
“I’m honored today to welcome Don back to the department as the next Solicitor General of the United States,” said Attorney General Holder. “He will play a vital role in enforcing the nation’s laws, determining the cases in which Supreme Court review will be sought by the government and formulating the positions the government will take before the court.”
The Attorney General also thanked Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal for serving as Acting Solicitor General for the past year.
“Neal has served with distinction and integrity as Acting Solicitor General, and I am grateful for his dedication to the country,” the Attorney General said.
The Office of the Solicitor General supervises and conducts government litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as considers all cases decided adversely to the government in the lower courts to determine whether they should be appealed and, if so, what position should be taken. The Solicitor General leads the government’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court. The United States is involved in approximately two-thirds of all the cases the U.S. Supreme Court decides on the merits each year.
Since February 2010, Verrilli has served in the White House Legal Counsel’s office as a senior and deputy counsel to the President. Prior to that, Verrilli served as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the department from February 2009 to January 2010.
Verrilli entered private practice in 1988, spending more than two decades at Jenner & Block LLP in Washington, D.C., where his practice focused on First Amendment, telecommunications, and intellectual property law, as well as pro bono matters. He also held numerous leadership positions at Jenner & Block, including serving as a member of the firm’s governing Policy Committee and as chair of its Diversity Committee.
At Jenner & Block, Verrilli was co-chair of the firm’s Supreme Court practice group from 2000 until his departure in 2009. He has participated in more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court and has argued twelve. He also has participated in approximately 90 cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeal and state supreme courts, arguing over 30 of these appeals.
Verrilli has also served for over 15 years as an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the Georgetown University Law Center, focusing on First Amendment law. Verrilli received the Frederick Douglass Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights in 2006, and the Arthur Von Briesen Award from the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association in 2004.
He served as a law clerk to the Hon. William J. Brennan, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court and to the Hon. J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Verrilli received his J.D. from Columbia Law School where he was a Kent Scholar and Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Law Review, and received a B.A. with honors from Yale University.