One of the finalists for the post of solicitor general has withdrawn rather than dip his toe into the toxic stew that Senate Democrats have made of confirmation process.
Chuck Cooper said Thursday he no longer wishes to be considered for the post. His withdrawal leaves George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, as the only remaining finalist.
The solicitor general represents the government in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cooper’s action comes as the Trump administration faces what could be its first major Supreme Court case — reinstatement of Trump’s executive order temporarily banning residents of several terror-prone nations after it was blocked by a federal court.
“I am deeply honored by any consideration that I may have received by Attorney General Sessions and President Trump for appointment as the Solicitor General, but I have asked them to discontinue any further consideration of me for that critically important position,” Cooper said in a statement Thursday.
“After witnessing the treatment that my friend Jeff Sessions, a decent and honorable man who bears only good will and good cheer to everyone he meets, had to endure at the hands of a partisan opposition that will say anything and do anything to advance their political interests, I am unwilling to subject myself, my family, and my friends to such a process,” his statement said.
Cooper summed up his feelings in a later interview.
“Life is too good and too short,” said Cooper, who had helped Sessions prepare for his confirmation hearings to become attorney general.
Trump has not made a formal nomination. As reported by Western Journalism, George Conway’s name has been discussed for the post since December.
Conway is a partner at the New York City law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Conway was involved in the Paula Jones case, which set the legal precedent that allowed a sitting president to be sued in civil court.
“George is a brilliant and accomplished lawyer who is willing to serve this president. At the same time, I’ve been quiet about the specific roles for him partly because of my role here and because the attorney general has not been confirmed,” Kellyanne Conway has said. “He’s willing to serve and I know that’s a decision he’s made. He would be the first Asian solicitor general, but he could also be a judge.”
George Conway has not commented about the post or his possible selection.
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