This morning, as I was perusing next month’s hearing list, I noticed a name I wasn’t familiar with: Roy W. McLeese. It isn’t unusual to see an unfamiliar name, but it is rare to see that that name listed as Acting Deputy Solicitor General.
When I first read the listing, I was shocked because the retirement of any of the current deputies would have almost certainly sparked news-worthy issue. Kneedler, Dreeben, and Stewart have all been in the Solicitor General’s office for as long as I’ve been alive (in Kneedler’s case, much longer) and Leondra Kruger was very recently moved up from Assistant to Acting Principal Deputy Solicitor General. As it turns out, I didn’t have to do much digging because the NLJ has already quietly reported on this quiet story:
Arguing in the second case on Monday … will be a new acting deputy solicitor general Roy McLeese, who was quietly installed this summer to fill in for longtime deputy Michael Dreeben while he is on leave to teach at Duke Law School this fall.
McLeese was detailed from the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C. where he heads its appellate division. In an earlier stint at the SG’s office, McLeese argued four Supreme Court cases. Parenthetically, McLeese is married to another Supreme Court veteran, Sidley Austin’s Virginia Seitz.
During the late 1990s McLeese served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General under Seth Waxman. His selection as a temporary replacement for Dreeben seems natural considering the nature of Dreeben’s docket – criminal – and McLeese’s expertise in that area.