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Paul Drew Clement (born June 1966) is a former United States Solicitor General and current Georgetown Universitymarker legal professor. He is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Lawmarker. 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.

The Solicitor General is the fourth-ranking official in the United States Department of Justicemarker. The Solicitor General is below the Attorney general, Deputy Attorney General and the Associate Attorney General. From September 17, 2007 to October 2, 2007 when Michael Mukasey was confirmed as Attorney General by the Senate, Clement was the highest ranking Justice Department official that had been confirmed to his office by the Senate; the Deputy and Associate Attorney general positions were both filled by acting appointees at that time.

Clement resigned on May 14, 2008, effective June 2, 2008, and joined the Georgetown University Law Centermarker 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. He is married, and he and his wife have three children.

Clement is a native of the Town of Cedarburg, Wisconsinmarker and in 1984 graduated from Cedarburg High School, where he joined the debate team. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from the Edmund A.marker Walsh School of Foreign Servicemarker at Georgetown Universitymarker, and a master's degree in economics from Darwin Collegemarker, University of Cambridgemarker. While at Georgetown, Clement successfully competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law Schoolmarker 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.marker Supreme Courtmarker. After his clerkships, he worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C.marker 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 Centermarker, where he taught a seminar on the separation of powers.

Clement joined the United States Department of Justicemarker 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 Ted Olson resigned. He has argued over 49 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.

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 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.”

As of November 20, 2008, Clement re-joined King & Spalding as a partner in its expanding appellate litigation practice.

See also


  1. Blum, Vanessa. "Point Man: Paul Clement leads the charge in defending the administration's tactics in the war on terror", Legal Times, January 16, 2004
  2. "President Bush Announces Judge Michael Mukasey as Nominee for Attorney General", White House press release, September 17, 2007

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