The New York Times: Walter Dellinger, Top Legal Official in Clinton White House, Dies at 80

February 16, 2022

Renowned constitutional scholar and acting US Solicitor General under the Clinton administration Walter Dellinger has passed away at the age of 80. Dellinger initially joined the White House as an advisor on a number of constitutional issues including, the use of fetal tissue in research and the global gag order, which “barred aid groups from discussing abortion if they received federal aid.” As Solicitor General, he argued nine US Supreme Court cases during the Court's 1996-97 term. Dellinger, who also headed the Office of Legal Counsel, joined international law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP after his tenure as a full-time government servant and founded the firm’s appellate practice. He was a prolific opinion writer who consistently contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Slate. In a recent New York Times essay, Dellinger defended President Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, saying that, “The Supreme Court exercises immense power to issue decisions that affect and bind all Americans. For that power to be legitimate, and for Americans to continue placing faith in the court, its members must be representative of all of America.”

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