This is part of a new series about the stars in the world of the Supreme Court. Today, I’ll start with one of the most influential members of the Supreme Court bar, Theodore B. Olson.
Full Name: Theodore Bevry Olson
DOB: September 11, 1940
Undergraduate: University of the Pacific ’62
Law School: UC Berkeley – Boalt Hall ’65
Number of cases before the Supreme Court: 50
Win-Loss Record: 36 W – 10 L
1 Pending, 3 Other (source)
Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board (2000)
Bush v. Gore (2000)
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)
Mcconnell v. FEC (2003)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
Rasul v. Bush (2004)
Riegel v. Medtronic (2007)
- Bush v. Gore was only his 14th case before the Supreme Court
- His wife was on board American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. She called him from the plane and their conversation provided useful insight into the events that took transpired on the flight.
- Served as Solicitor General from June 2001 – July 2004. He was confirmed with a 51-47 vote in the Senate.
- Provided legal counsel to Paula Jones when she filed suit against President Bill Clinton in 1994.
- Shortlisted for Justice O’Connor’s vacated seat in 2005 but was widely considered too conservative to make it through the Senate.
Olson is, without a doubt, the most prominent conservative member of the Supreme Court bar. Jay Sekulow has a special place in the evangelical-Christian movement on the Court, but Olson agues with much more frequency (35 cases before the court since Bush v. Gore in 2000) and on much broader issues.
Olson is also much more politically active than other prominent members of that bar. Most members less vocal about their beliefs as they hold out hope for a seat on the federal bench but, at 68, Olson is already too old to have chance of being nominated. His confirmation battle in 2001 to become SG was long and drawn out, due in large part to a scandal involving his ties to the American Spectator and his active efforts to derail the Clinton administration.