Trump to nominate Francis as US attorney general

© Reuters. Trump to nominate Francis as US attorney general

By Steve Holland and Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will nominate Washington lawyer Noel Francisco as attorney general, the administration’s top defender before the US Supreme Court, the White House said Tuesday.

Francisco, who has served as an actor at work, is an attorney with strong conservative credentials who previously worked at the Jones Day law firm.

White House attorney Don McGahn is one of several Jones Day attorneys who have joined the administration.

Francisco has defended three high-profile cases in the Supreme Court.

Most recently, he represented the former Virginia Republican

Governor Robert McDonnell in a successful attempt to eliminate corruption convictions. In June, the court ruled 8-0 in favor of McDonnell.

In another case decided last year, she represented religious nonprofit organizations seeking an exemption from a provision of the Obamacare health care law that requires employers to provide female workers with health insurance that includes contraception coverage. In May, the higher court sidestepped a major ruling in that case by sending it back to a lower court.

In the third case, Francisco led a business challenge to the presidential appointing powers, resulting in a 2014 ruling that limited the White House‘s ability to fill positions without Senate approval.

Francisco served as a White House attorney from 2001 to 2003 and spent another two years in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2005. Both jobs were during the administration of Republican President George W. Bush. He served as a clerk to Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

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