Bush lawyer gets top Justice job
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FEBRUARY 15, 2001

Theodore B. Olson, the lawyer who argued George W. Bush's election dispute case before the Supreme Court, was officially nominated by the President to be Solicitor General of the Department of Justice on Wednesday.

Since Olson would represent the government in cases before the Supreme Court, his position is important to tribes. Depending on the case, the Solicitor General would act on behalf of tribes or defend itself in suits brought by tribes.

Defeated Senator Slade Gorton was rumored to be seeking the job but the Bush administration weeks ago decided on Olson. Olson formerly worked for the Washington office of the Los Angeles law firm Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher.

As a lawyer, Olson represented Hawaiian rancher Harold "Freddy" Rice before the Supreme Court. Rice successfully challenged the state of Hawaii for restricting a vote to Native Hawaiians and Olson argued it was an issue of "ballot box racial discrimination, plain and simple."

Under former President Bill Clinton, the Justice Department supported sovereignty status for Native Hawaiians. A bill that would clarify the government-to-government relationship of Native Hawaiians is pending in Congress.

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Olson Nominated as Solicitor General (The Washington Post 2/15)