DOJ’s Prelogar given ethics waiver for SCOTUS Harvard admissions case

  • U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar earlier served as lecturer at Harvard Law
  • DOJ sees U.S. Supreme Court case as ‘doubtlessly precedent-making’

(Reuters) – U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has obtained an ethics waiver to permit her to work on the Harvard University pupil admissions case on the U.S. Supreme Court regardless of having earlier served as a visitor lecturer on the regulation college.

The U.S. Justice Department stated in its Nov. 18 waiver that Prelogar has “unique qualifications to meet the government’s needs in this particular matter” as a veteran appellate lawyer whose profession contains each private and non-private service.

The Biden administration’s ethics rules bar lined officers, together with sure legal professionals and lobbyists, from touching issues that concerned their former companies or shoppers for two years after appointment to the federal government. The waiver for Prelogar solely applies to the Harvard admissions case particularly.

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A Justice Department spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a message searching for touch upon Monday, and neither did William Consovoy of the litigation boutique Consovoy McCarthy, which represents the plaintiff Students for Fair Admissions Inc within the admissions lawsuit.

The Justice Department was invited in June on the Supreme Court to file a short within the case, which challenges Harvard’s race-conscious admissions course of for undergraduate pupil admissions.

“The case is high profile and of considerable importance to the Department and the Administration. It raises a constitutional question that may have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on universities across the nation,” DOJ’s Lee Lofthus, the division’s designated ethics official, wrote within the waiver. “The importance of this potentially precedent-making case increases the importance of your participation to the government.”

Prelogar joined the Biden Justice Department in January because the principal deputy solicitor normal. She was confirmed final month because the U.S. solicitor normal. Prelogar arrived at DOJ from Cooley, the place she had been a companion since January 2020.

Prelogar served as a guide to Harvard Law from August 2011 to March 2020, and she or he was a a lecturer for six months final 12 months, in response to a financial disclosure she submitted after becoming a member of the Justice Department. She recognized her Harvard wage in 2020 as $7,500.

Noel Francisco, a U.S. solicitor normal underneath former President Donald Trump, obtained a waiver throughout his tenure to work on issues involving the regulation agency Jones Day, together with instances by which a agency consumer, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was a celebration. He rejoined the agency final 12 months.

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Elizabeth Prelogar, President Joe Biden's nominee to serve as U.S. solicitor general, testifies before her U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in this frame grab from video shot on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 14, 2021. Picture taken September 14, 2021. U.S. Senate/Handout via Reuters