Trump’s Justice Department Begins to Take Shape

Barring some extraordinary development, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will be the next Attorney General of the United States. What will the Justice Department look like under Sessions? Based upon this reporting by David Lat at Above the Law, the Department will be led by a team of smart, principled, experienced attorneys.

For starters, it’s been widely reported that Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will be nominated to be Sessions’ number two: Deputy Attorney General. As I blogged here, Rosenstein would be a fabulous choice.

For Associate Attorney General, Lat reports the leading candidate is Rachel Brand, former head of DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy. This is another inspired choice.

For Solicitor General, Lat’s story is consistent with my reporting that the leading candidates are NY litigator George Conway and former Reagan Administration DOJ official Charles “Chuck” Cooper

Lat further reports that the leading contender to head the Office of Legal Counsel is Steven Engel, who served as the Deputy AAG for that office in the second half of the Bush Administration.

Finally, Lat reports on two individuals who had been rumored to be in the running for SG: Jones Day attorneys Noel Francisco and Greg Katsas. Writes Lat, Francisco is likely to be the Principal Deputy SG and Katsas is expected to be Deputy White House Counsel.

Whatever one thinks of Trump’s other appointments, this would be a very strong legal team and one that should instill confidence. Let’s hope that Lat’s reporting is correct (and that the President-elect does not change his mind).


Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Most Popular


Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More