On Tuesday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced Washington state Solicitor General Noah Purcell will be arguing for and against President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. The 37-year-old lawyer will represent the states of Washington and Minnesota which filed the lawsuit that resulted in a temporary restraining order blocking the executive order nationwide.
August E. Flentje, a career trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s civil division currently assigned to the appellate division, will represent the current administration. Per Los Angeles Times, the two representatives will give their oral arguments before a panel of three federal judges – William Canby Jr., Richard Clifton, and Michelle Friedland.
To get more acquainted, we’ve listed some things you need to know about the Washington Solicitor General.
1. He became the Solicitor General in 2013.
According to Heavy, Washington State Atty. General Bob Ferguson named Noah Guzzo Purcell as the state’s solicitor general back in 2013. He succeeded retiring Solicitor General Maureen Hart, who served eight years as Solicitor General under Attorney General Rob McKenna.
In a press release, Ferguson said: “As a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and an outstanding attorney, Noah is among the best and brightest lawyers in our state. He will be a tremendous leader to this outstanding legal team.”
2. Purcell is an alumnus of the University of Washington and Harvard Law School.
A native of Washington, Purcell went to Franklin High School in Seattle and became a Mary Gates Leadership Scholar at the University of Washington. After finishing his undergraduate studies in 2002, he briefly worked as a campaign manager for Eric Pettigrew who is now a Democratic member of the Washington House of Representatives. He then worked for him as an assistant after Pettigrew got elected to the state legislature.
The same site reports Purcell also completed his master’s degree in economics at the University College Dublin before proceeding to Harvard. There, he became an editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 2007.
3. He clerked for now-retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
The Attorney General’s website indicates Purcell worked as a law clerk for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter not long after Harvard, from 2008 to 2009. He also took the same job for Judge David Tatel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. “Noah was a terrific law clerk, and he’ll be a terrific Solicitor General,” Souter said of Purcell when he was appointed to his current position.
— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) February 8, 2017
4. Purcell took a job at the law firm Perkins Coie & the Department of Homeland Security during Barack Obama’s term.w
After leaving the State House, Purcell worked as an attorney in the Department of Homeland Security during former president Barack Obama’s administration. He particularly provided legal help on “security and immigration issues”. In addition to that, he also took part on the federal government’s challenge to Arizona’s immigration law.
He then worked for Perkins Coie, three years before Ferguson hired him for his current job. During his days at the high-powered Seattle law firm, he had a diverse litigation experience including constitutional issues, environmental law, antitrust claims, preemption, administrative law, and campaign finance.
5. He married a fellow Franklin High School graduate and now has a son.
News Tribune reports he competed once in a mock trial when he was in high school which brought the institution to a state championship in 1997. That’s when he met fellow student Jasmin Weaver, who later became his wife. After graduating, the two attended the University of Washington together but did not start dating until their second year.
The couple both received Mary Gates Leadership Awards at Washington for their founding and running Affordable Tuition Now! It is reportedly a student advocacy group aimed to keep tuition fees at UW and other state universities affordable. Noah Purcell and Jasmin Weaver now has a young son named Desmond.