- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004


Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who argued Bush administration cases before the Supreme Court before and after his wife died in the September 11 Pentagon crash, has submitted his resignation, a Justice Department official said yesterday.

Mr. Olson, 63, will leave his post in July, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He has served as solicitor general since June 11, 2001.

Exactly three months after he took office, Mr. Olson’s wife, Barbara, also a prominent Washington lawyer and conservative commentator, died aboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

After the attacks, Mr. Olson became a personal symbol of the cost of terrorism and later took an unusually public role for an administration Supreme Court lawyer, speaking in support of strong antiterrorism policies.

At a Justice Department remembrance ceremony on September 11, 2003, Mr. Olson said an unrelenting fight against terrorism is the best way to honor the attack victims.

“Their suffering and deaths must fuel our dedication to stamp out this cancer,” Mr. Olson said.

Mr. Olson argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court for the Bush administration — and 14 other cases before the court while in private law practice at the Washington law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Mr. Olson represented George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the Supreme Court case that ultimately swung the 2000 presidential election to the Republicans. After joining the Justice Department, he argued numerous high-profile cases involving campaign finance reform, the government’s powers in the war on terrorism and others.

Mr. Olson also served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel during President Reagan’s first term.

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