Verrilli on Obama as a Client: “He still got that law professor in him”

June 17th, 2016

Former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli sat down for an interview with MSNBC, and talked about a wide range of topics. I really enjoyed his description of serving President Obama, who was his client:

The President “is a phenomenal client. He is a brilliant lawyer. I haven’t had many opportunities to sit down and talk with him about cases in front of the Court. His approach, its DOJ’s job, its the SG’s office job, it’s my job, to do these cases in the way we think best and he lets us do that. He gives us huge, wide berth, and I very much appreciate that. On the small number of occasions where I have sat down and talked with him, he has a remarkable legal mind. He is not a law professor any more, by any means, but he still got that law professor in him. When you sit down and talk and legal problem with him, he has a phenomenal legal mind. He’s great all around. He gives us the leeway to do what we need to do, and we do engage, it’s terrific.

Also–with several quotes going directly into my book–Verrilli said that NFIB and King were the most important arguments of his tenure.

“Those were cases, from the perspective of the administration, one of its most important policy, where virtually everything was on the line.”

Verrilli was asked if the legal debate over Obamacare was over.

You had the Chief Justice for 6 Justices in King v. Burwell, as a matter of statute, it really needs to provide subsidies in every state to work as intended. I think the debate is effectively over.

Watch the full interview.