Solicitor General gets SCOTUS ethics waivers

Solicitor General gets SCOTUS ethics waivers

  • February 10, 2022

Lachlan Markay, Axios

The Justice Department has waived ethics rules to allow Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to participate in some of the most high-profile cases before the Supreme Court, records show.

Why it matters: The waivers show how officials are balancing extensive private sector work with longstanding conflict-of-interest laws as well as stringent new ethics rules put in place in President Biden’s first days in office.

What’s happening: Prelogar has received waivers freeing her up to work on five Supreme Court cases involving her former law firm, Cooley LLP, or its clients, according to documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics.

What they’re saying: “DOJ appears to have a strikingly large volume of high-profile cases involving [Prelogar’s] former employers and clients,” said Michael Chamberlain, a former Trump administration official who leads the group Protect the Public’s Trust, which tracks Biden administration ethics waivers.

  • “Waivers normally arise because of skills, talents and experience that are supremely unique,” Chamberlain told Axios in an email.
  • “Several of the waivers we’ve seen recently have been very broad and awarded to attorneys and former lobbyists, two professions of which there’s hardly a shortage in D.C.”

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