Move over, Paul Clement.
The job of arguing before the Supreme Court on the government’s behalf is usually reserved for the solicitor general (or one of his deputies). But in a case to be argued later this month, his boss, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, will be the one standing at the podium making the government’s case to the justices, the Associated Press reports.
It will be the first time in more than a decade that an attorney general argues before the Supreme Court. Janet Reno last did it in 1996.
Mukasey will urge the high court to rule that 18 U.S.C. Section 844(h)(2), which prohibits carrying explosives “during the commission of any felony” applies even when the underlying felony was not related to the explosive. The government seeks to reinstate the. conviction of would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam on the count, even though Ressam’s underlying conviction involved lying to a customs agent.
The case is United States v. Ressam, and will be argued Tuesday, March 25.
Meanwhile, will next week bring Justice Samuel Alito’s first opinion of the term?
The most-junior justice is the only one who has yet to author an opinion during this term, which began in October. Each of the other eight justices have written at least two opinions this term.
While it is not uncommon for newer justice to take a bit more time to finalize an opinion, the Associated Press piece correctly points out that Alito could simply be waiting for the dissenters to put their two cents in before his first decision is released.