Solicitor General Noel Francisco Announces Resignation From Justice Department

June 17, 2020 Updated: June 17, 2020

The U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who has defended a number of Trump administration policies before the Supreme Court, is resigning from the Justice Department (DOJ), the department said on Wednesday.

Francisco, who has served in the role since September 2017, said he was leaving in order to return to the private sector and spend more time with family, according to his resignation letter obtained by media outlets. His departure from the department will be effective July 3.

“Representing the United States before the Supreme Court is one of the greatest jobs in the law and an opportunity for which I am deeply grateful. I am proud of the significant success the Office of Solicitor General has had in advancing the rule of law … in our great nation alongside the dedicated men and women at the Department of Justice—some of the finest lawyers I have known,” Francisco said in a statement

Francisco served over three Supreme Court Terms as Solicitor General and has represented the federal government before the court in more than 150 merit cases. He has also argued before the top court 17 times, including in cases such as the 2018 landmark case Trump v. Hawaii, which upheld Trump’s restrictions on travel from countries that present national-security risks, and Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which found that Colorado had violated the Free Exercise Clause when it enforced its antidiscrimination law against a Christian baker who declined to create a custom cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds.

He had also argued in a number of potential blockbuster cases in the most recent Supreme Court term including defending the Trump administration’s authority to end the Obama-era immigration policy that temporarily shielded young people who came to the United States illegally from being deported, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

He had also filed many emergency motions on behalf of the federal government to defend Trump administration policies that had been blocked by nationwide injunctions.

“He has been a principled and persuasive advocate on issues ranging from the separation of powers to religious liberty to vigorous enforcement of federal immigration law,” Barr said in a statement, referring to Francisco.

“His skilled advocacy has been instrumental to historic victories on behalf of the President’s national security authority, the free speech rights of public employees, and property owners’ access to federal courts, among many other significant accomplishments.”

In his resignation letter, Francisco commended President Donald Trump for his judicial appointments, saying that they would contribute to the nation for years to come.

This comes after news that other senior DOJ officials were leaving the department. Joseph H. Hunt, who is the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division, told staff members on Tuesday that he planned to leave the department after two years serving in the role, according to a memo obtained by media outlets. Meanwhile, Brian Benczkowski, the head of the department’s criminal division said last week that he was stepping down in early July, according to the department.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request to confirm Hunt’s resignation.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Francisco was a partner of the Washington office of Jones Day, a private law firm. He served as an associate counsel to President George W. Bush between 2001 and 2003, and served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s office of legal counsel between 2003 and 2005.

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