Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, July 12, 2010


Page 3


Obama Appoints Three California Lawyers to Administrative Council


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Obama will appoint 10 new members of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, including three members of the State Bar of California, the White House has announced.

Office of Management and Budget official Michael Fitzpatrick is one of three new members who have already been appointed, while former Solicitor General Theodore Olson and Stanford Law School professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar are among seven the president intends to appoint, according to Thursday’s announcement.

The Administrative Conference is an advisory body, authorized to include up to 101 members and charging with recommending how to improve the operations of government agencies. The governing council is made up of a full-time chairman and 10 part-time members, including no more than five who are currently working in the government.

The conference has been inactive for the past 15 years due to lack of funding. Critics cited it as an example of an agency that used up government money for little apparent purpose, but its supporters said its emphasis on efficiency saved more than the $2 million a year that Congress previously appropriated.

The commission often “came up with arcane proposals to solve problems most people never knew existed,” the Blog of Legal Times reported in May.

Supporters of Revival

Among those who supported its revival were Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was once the chairman of the conference, and Breyer is a former member. The current chairman, and up to now the only member, is former law dean Paul Verkuil, who served as Supreme Court special master in the dispute between New Jersey and New York over ownership of Ellis Island.

The president Thursday issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that these outstanding individuals will lend their talents to ACUS’s vital mission of providing nonpartisan, practical assessments and recommendations to improve agency procedures and operations. ACUS is a public-private partnership designed to make government work better, and the members of the Council are committed individuals from distinguished backgrounds who are devoted to enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of our government.”

State Bar Members

Fitzpatrick, a graduate of Stanford Law School, once clerked for Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William Norris, who has since retired, and worked in the Washington, DC office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP from 2001 until last year. He currently serves as associate administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

He has been an inactive member of the State Bar since 1995.

Cuéllar clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Mary M. Schroeder when she was chief judge of the court, and joined the Stanford law faculty in 2001. He recently returned to the school following a leave of absence to serve as special assistant to Obama at the White House Domestic Policy Council, with responsibility for public health and safety, regulatory reform, and civil rights. 

He holds a doctorate in political science from Stanford and has been a member of the State Bar since 1998.

Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and has worked in the firm’s Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1966.

He served as an assistant attorney general from 1981 to 1984 and as solicitor general from 2001 to 2004.

The president has also appointed OMB General Counsel Preeta D. Bansal as vice chair of the conference, and Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Thomasina Rogers as a council member, and said he intends to appoint former Boston University School of Law dean Ronald A. Cass, Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski, Assistant Attorney Gernal Thomas Perez, retired D.C. Circuit Judge Patricia M. Wald, and BNY Mellon general counsel Jane C. Sherburne as members of the council.


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