Paul Drew Clement (born June 24, 1966) is an American lawyer. He is a former United States Solicitor General and current partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis after its acquisition of his previous firm Bancroft PLLC. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer in Law at Georgetown University and an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. He was nominated by President George W. Bush on March 14, 2005, for the post of Solicitor General, confirmed by the United States Senate on June 8, 2005, and took the oath of office on June 13. Clement replaced Theodore Olson.
|Acting United States Attorney General|
September 17, 2007 – September 18, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Alberto Gonzales|
|Succeeded by||Peter Keisler (Acting)|
|43rd Solicitor General of the United States|
July 11, 2004 – June 19, 2008
Acting: July 11, 2004 – June 13, 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Ted Olson|
|Succeeded by||Gregory Garre|
|Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States|
February 2001 – July 11, 2004
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Barbara Underwood|
|Succeeded by||Daryl Joseffer|
Paul Drew Clement
June 24, 1966
Cedarburg, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Education||Georgetown University (BS)|
Darwin College, Cambridge (MPhil)
Harvard University (JD)
Early life and educationEdit
Clement was born to Jean and Jerry Clement, and he had two brothers and a sister. Clement is a native of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. In 1984, he graduated from Cedarburg High School, where he was on the debate team. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a master's degree in economics from Darwin College, University of Cambridge. While at Georgetown, Clement successfully competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association. He received his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was the Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was also one of eight editors of the Harvard Law Review's annual lampoon who oversaw publication of a satirical piece mocking an article by Mary Joe Frug on the one-year anniversary of her murder. Clement—and the other seven editors—apologized for the parody after backlash from students and faculty.
Following graduation, Clement clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States. After his clerkships, he worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis. Clement went on to serve as Chief Counsel of Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Afterwards, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of King & Spalding, where he headed the firm's appellate practice. He also served from 1998 to 2004 as an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught a seminar on the separation of powers.
Clement joined the United States Department of Justice in February 2001. Before his confirmation as Solicitor General, he served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General, and he became the acting Solicitor General on July 11, 2004, when Theodore Olson resigned. He has argued over 53 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including McConnell v. FEC, Tennessee v. Lane, Rumsfeld v. Padilla, United States v. Booker, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld v. FAIR, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Gonzales v. Raich, Gonzales v. Oregon, Gonzales v. Carhart, Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Sekhar v. United States. He also argued many of the key cases in the lower courts involving challenges to the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terrorism. As of November 2011[update] he had argued more cases before the Supreme Court since 2000 than any other lawyer.
On August 27, 2007, President Bush named Clement as the future acting Attorney General of the United States, to take office upon the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, effective September 17, 2007. According to administration officials, Clement took that office at 12:01 AM September 17, 2007, and left office 24 hours later. On September 17, President Bush announced that Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, Peter Keisler would become acting Attorney General, pending a permanent appointment of a presidential nominee.
Clement gave notice of his resignation on May 14, 2008, effective June 2, 2008, and returned to Georgetown University Law Center as a senior fellow. He had been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court candidate in a John McCain presidency, and was a coveted potential hire among D.C. legal firms, who reportedly vied to build a firm around his expertise in appellate matters. Evan Tager of Mayer Brown said: "Paul Clement is the Holy Grail of law firm recruiting... The buzz in the legal world about Clement is like the buzz in basketball when LeBron James was coming out of high school and turning pro. It will be interesting to see where the market will go."
As of November 20, 2008, Clement re-joined King & Spalding as a partner in its expanding appellate litigation practice. As part of King & Spalding, he argued on behalf of the NRA in the Supreme Court case McDonald v. Chicago on March 2, 2010.
Clement was part of the legal team that represented NBA players in labor negotiations during the 2011 lockout. Clement also advised 10 NFL players in the spring of 2011 when the NFL was facing a potential lock-out.
As a partner at King & Spalding, Clement was hired in April 2011 by the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, after the U.S. Department of Justice chose to stop defending it. King & Spalding withdrew from the case on April 25, 2011, and Clement resigned from the firm to continue his representation, arguing that "representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters."
Clement led the challenge on behalf of 26 states to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court on March 26–28, 2012. The Court upheld the "individual mandate" as a tax, but found the States could not be compelled to follow the portion of the law relating to Medicaid expansion.
On March 27, 2013, Clement served for the respondent Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives at the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, the Court ruled against Clement and BLAG by finding the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.
Clement has argued more than 90 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the biography on the website of his Washington law firm, Bancroft PLC, more than any other lawyer in private practice. Clement was mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee of Republican presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney. In 2014, Jeffrey Toobin named Clement a likely Supreme Court nominee in the event of a Republican victory in the 2016 presidential election.
In 2019, Clement was an attorney for the appellants in the landmark Rucho v. Common Cause Supreme Court case, in which partisan gerrymandering was declared an unjusticiable issue. This overturned the 1962 precedent set by Baker v. Carr.
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- Bhatia, Kedar (April 17, 2011). "Updated Advocate Scorecard (OT00-10)". DailyWrit. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
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- Slater, Dan (October 27, 2008). "Paul Clement: The LeBron James of Law Firm Recruiting". The Wall Street Journal Law Blog. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
- "Transcript of Oral Arguments in McDonald v. Chicago" (PDF). US Supreme Court. March 2010. Archived from the original (pdf) on December 7, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
PAUL D. CLEMENT, ESQ., Washington, D.C.; for Respondents National Rifle Association, Inc., et al., in support of Petitioners.
- Sack, Kevin (October 27, 2011). "Lawyer Opposing Health Law Is Familiar Face to the Justices". New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- Camia, Catalina (April 18, 2011). "Boehner seeks to divert funds for gay marriage fight". USA Today. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
- "Paul Clement Resignation Letter" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
- "Clement Quits King & Spalding Over Marriage Act Decision". Bloomberg News.
- "Paul D. Clement, Partner, Bancroft PLLC". Archived from the original on April 25, 2011.
- Ingram, David (April 19, 2012). "Analysis: A Romney pick for top U.S. court? Frontrunners emerge". Reuters. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (March 18, 2014). "THE SUPREME COURT FARM TEAM". New Yorker. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- "Rucho v. Common Cause Oral Argument". C-Span.