Solicitor General Donald Verilli, the man known for his infamous defense of ObamaCare in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, has announced he is stepping down after 5 years.
In a statement, President Barack Obama touted Verrilli as a solicitor general who “has fought in our nation’s highest court for a better future, winning landmark cases that moved America forward.”
“Thanks to his efforts, 20 million more Americans now know the security of quality, affordable health care; we’re combatting discrimination so that more women and minorities can own their piece of the American Dream; we’ve reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring that immigrants are treated fairly; and our children will now grow up in a country where everyone has the freedom to marry the person they love,” Obama said in the statement.
He added, “Don has been a dedicated public servant who has helped our nation live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. I am grateful for his trusted counsel and friendship. And I wish Don and his family all the best in what comes next, including, hopefully, a well-deserved vacation.”
Verrilli argued a large number of landmark cases before the Supreme Court, including successful decisions on the Affordable Care Act, immigration and striking down states’ prohibition of same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement that Verrilli will leave June 24, with his principal deputy Ian Gershengorn assuming his role in an acting capacity on June 25, likely until the next president takes office.
“Don Verrilli is a brilliant lawyer, a devoted public servant and one of the most consequential Solicitors General in American history,” Lynch said in a statement. “Since he began his service in the Obama Administration in February of 2009, Don has been at the center of the foremost legal challenges of our time, most notably through his arguments in a series of groundbreaking cases before the Supreme Court. He led the case against the Defense of Marriage Act and for the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of marriage equality, breaking down barriers that had divided us from one another and extending the reach of America’s promise. He secured a landmark victory in Arizona v. United States, helping to strike down harsh anti-immigration laws and prevent the separation of countless families looking for a better life. And he successfully defended the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, preserving a law that has helped millions of Americans obtain health insurance.”
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