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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson today announced that he will resign his office in July and return to private practice.

In a letter to President George W. Bush, he wrote: “It has been an enormous privilege for me to serve you and the United States as Solicitor General, and to work with you, Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft and the many other outstanding men and women in your Administration. The opportunity to represent the United States before the Supreme Court of the United States, to supervise the appellate work of the United States in the federal courts of the United States, to be a part of the splendid team that you and Attorney General Ashcroft have assembled in the Department of Justice, and to work with the outstanding lawyers in the Office of the Solicitor General, has been exciting, inspiring and, at times, breathtaking. I cannot imagine a more rewarding or fulfilling personal or professional experience.”

Ted Olson was nominated by President Bush on February 14, 2001, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and took the oath of office as the 42nd Solicitor General on June 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the Solicitor’s Office had an extraordinary record of success before the Supreme Court.

“Ted Olson is not only one of the most accomplished lawyers to ever hold the office of Solicitor General, he is among the finest individuals it has been my privilege to know,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “Ted is a dedicated patriot who brought unbridled energy and enthusiasm, along with brilliant legal acumen and peerless dedication to his office and to Justice. He provided invaluable, wise counsel to me, to the President, to the Court, and to the nation. His judgment and legal skill have greatly benefited the American people in so many ways, but particularly in our fight against terror.”

In thanking the President and Attorney General, Olson said, “I am also deeply indebted to you for your courage, judgment, leadership and perseverance in conducting the battle against the terrorists who attacked our people and our country on September 11, 2001 and in strengthening America’s defenses, and all of its citizens, from future such attacks. I understand that this struggle will be long and arduous, but you have been strong and resolute in setting the nation on the right - and vitally necessary - path.”

Before joining the federal government, Mr. Olson worked as a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he practiced constitutional, media, commercial and appellate litigation. Mr. Olson served President Reagan as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1981 to 1984. After completing his service as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Olson returned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, in its Washington, D.C. office, engaging in the practice of constitutional and appellate law and general litigation, and served as Partner-in-Charge of that office, on the firm's Executive and Management Committees and as co-chair of the firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. Before rejoining the Justice Department in 2001, he successfully represented candidates George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the Supreme Court Bush v. Gore cases involving the 2000 presidential election.

Mr. Olson is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has written and lectured extensively on appellate advocacy, oral advocacy in the courtroom and constitutional law.

Mr. Olson was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was educated in public schools in California. He received his bachelor's degree cum laude from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he received awards as the outstanding graduating student in both journalism and forensics, and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif.



As Solicitor General, Ted Olson participated in 26 arguments before the Supreme Court. He won 20 of the 23 that have been decided to date (with 2 additional arguments outstanding; one was dismissed with no decision on the merits), including: the Cleveland school voucher case, the child online protection act, the campaign finance law, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Vice President’s energy task force case. In terms of actual cases, some of which were consolidated for oral argument, the Solicitor General argued 45 cases, winning 37 of the 41 cases decided to date (with 3 additional cases outstanding; one was dismissed with no decision on the merits).

The Office of the Solicitor General has had a remarkably successful three years, both in terms of successful rulings, as well as in participation levels before the Supreme Court.