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Another Last-Minute Bush Appointment

By Ed O'Keefe

President Bush will not reemerge in public until Tuesday morning, but he has made yet another last-minute appointment. Edwin Smiley Kneedler, a deputy solicitor general, will serve as the acting solicitor general until Barack Obama's pick for the job is confirmed by the Senate.

The president-elect has tapped Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan to serve as the U.S. government's lawyer before the Supreme Court. It's a plum post sometimes referred to as the high court's "10th justice." As The Post recently reported, the solicitor general advises the court on which cases warrant its attention, defends the government and takes positions in cases in which the administration deems it has a stake.

Kagan has earned strong reviews from conservatives and liberals alike and should easily win Senate confirmation, meaning Kneedler's time in his new role should be short.

UPDATE 3:16 p.m. ET: Proving that The Eye is a big fan of transparency and interactivity, let's call out what reader jk08 posted in the comments section below:

Ed Kneedler being named as Acting Solicitor General doesn't belong in the category of "yet another last-minute [Bush] appointment." He's been with the Solicitor General's since 1979 and was with Office of Legal Counsel before that. He was congratulated in March 2008 by Justice Roberts for arging his 100th case before the Supreme Court. In presumably one of its last significant actions as to the Justice Department, the Bush Administration got something right.

Just one reader's opinion. Leave yours below. And whether or not it's right, it's still a last-minute appointment.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 16, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Comments

Ed Kneedler being named as Acting Solicitor General doesn't belong in the category of "yet another last-minute [Bush] appointment." He's been with the Solicitor General's since 1979 and was with Office of Legal Counsel before that. He was congratulated in March 2008 by Justice Roberts for arging his 100th case before the Supreme Court. In presumably one of its last significant actions as to the Justice Department, the Bush Administration got something right.

Posted by: jk08 | January 16, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Regrettable to say of an outgoing President, the largest figure of American politics in the land, in whom we assume and instill our trust, I do not and would not TRUST any appointee of Bush, especially in the Justice Department for the injustices they burdened on this department, whether passive or aggressive their contribution was to the abuses, it is egregious and should be punished. Go away Bush, you are not a trusted figure in American politics.

Posted by: llafair1 | January 19, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this correct. We are not to trust any Blagovich appointment to the Senate but, an appointment of Bush's to an arguably more important seat is O.K.?

Posted by: green39 | January 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

You folks are desperate to whip up anything to throw at the President. When someone leaves a top position, it IS normal to name an acting until the position is permanently filled. And when the President-elect gets his permanent appointment approved, that will be it.

MaybeO'Keefe feels this is his way of being important but I guess he dreads being bored the next four years!

Posted by: terencekahn | January 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think people should be more upset if he didn't appoint someone and left the post vacant until Obama can fill it. It is called continuity of government.

Posted by: res0bbts | January 19, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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