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Edward DuMont, out gay lawyer, appointed Solicitor General of California

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality

California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the appointment of Edward DuMont as the state’s new solicitor general yesterday. DuMont is an out gay lawyer who was appointed by President Obama for a seat on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, though the nomination was never voted on and was withdrawn in 2011.

According to the press release, “[a]s the chief appellate lawyer for the Department of Justice, DuMont will lead the new Office of the Solicitor General, oversee all civil and criminal appeals, and litigate the most sensitive, complex cases throughout the appellate process in state and federal courts. Under DuMont’s leadership the Department’s Office of the Solicitor General, originally established more than a decade ago, will expand significantly in scope and capacity.”

DuMont’s statement about the appointment was also included in the release, ““I am honored to have been asked to join the dedicated lawyers at the Department of Justice and to help ensure that the people of California continue to receive the highest level of appellate representation,” said DuMont. “While it will be hard to leave my current clients and colleagues, I look forward to returning to California, joining a new team and working together to build an expanded Solicitor General’s office that we will all be proud of.””

DuMont has experience at the United States Supreme Court: the press release notes he’s argued 18 cases there.

Regarding his failed nomination the Federal Circuit, Metro Weekly reported in 2011:

Despite DuMont’s qualifications, he never received a hearing on his nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic committee spokespeople have said that Republicans had held up the nomination, although Republican committee spokespeople pointed out that the chairman of the committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could call for a hearing on the nomination at any time.

In his letter to Obama, DuMont wrote, “Under these circumstances, drawing the process out further does not seem either sensible for me or fair to the Federal Circuit, which has important work to do and deserves to be able to address it with a full complement of active judges.”

One other of President Obama’s nominees has gone on to serve in California: Goodwin Liu was nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and when his nomination was rejected for his liberal views and his criticism of Justice Alito, he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court.


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