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Paul Clement : biography

June 24, 1966 -

Paul Drew Clement (born June 24, 1966) is a former United States Solicitor General and current Georgetown University law professor. He is also 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.

Clement resigned on May 14, 2008, effective June 2, 2008, and joined the Georgetown University Law Center as a visiting professor and senior fellow at the Supreme Court Institute.

Early life and education

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 graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was the Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Legal career

Following graduation, Clement clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. 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, and Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation. He also argued many of the key cases in the lower courts involving challenges to the President's conduct of the war on terrorism.Blum, Vanessa. , Legal Times, January 16, 2004 He has 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. 

, White House press release, September 17, 2007


Clement gave notice of his resignation on May 14, 2008, effective June 2, 2008, and returned to Georgetown Law School as a senior fellow. He had been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court candidate in a John McCain presidency and is a coveted potential hire among DC legal firms, who reportedly are vying 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.”

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Living octopus

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