Fil-Am is Trump’s pick as next U.S. Solicitor General

Bea Cupin
Fil-Am is Trump’s pick as next U.S. Solicitor General
Noel Francisco, the son of a Filipino immigrant, will hold the position full-time pending US Senate approval

MANILA, Philippines – A veteran lawyer with Filipino roots was nominated by American President Donald Trump as the next solicitor general. 

The White House announced the nomination of current Acting Solicitor General of the United States Noel Francisco in a press release dated March 2, 2017. 

“These dedicated men and women will help me and the rest of the Administration as we continue our work to make America great again. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and honored that they will be joining my team,” said Trump of 47-year-old Francisco, as well as several other nominees to key posts in the administration. 

Francisco is the son of a Filipino migrant who moved to the US “speaking little English and without much money” in hopes of pursuing a medical career, according to Syracuse.com

Nemesio, Francisco’s father, would “become one of the most beloved doctors in Oswego” before dying in 1989 due to cancer. 

“While growing up, Noel Francisco rarely talked about his father’s journey from the Philippines. But when Noel returned to Oswego High School to deliver the 2013 commencement address, he talked about having the courage to accept difficult challenges in life. He cited his father as an example,” read the report. 

Francisco was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Jones Day prior to joining the US Justice Department, according to a write-up on the department’s official website. While working for the firm as the chair of the Government Regulation Practice, he appeared several times before the Supreme Court. 

Among his more prominent cases include McDonnell v. United States, where he represented former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell. The Supreme Court eventually overturned corruption cases versus the former governor. 

From 2001 to 2005, Francisco served in government under former President George W. Bush – first as associate counsel of the president, then as deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department. 

Born in Oswego, New York, Francisco earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Chicago in 1991. In 1996, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School. 

He then served as law clerk for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then for the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court. 

Francisco, whom the Washington Post described as a “conservative lawyer,” was among several considered for nomination when Trump began his term. Another lawyer with Filipino roots, George Conway III, was also considered for the post. Conway is married to Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway.

He has been in office in an acting capacity since January and has had to excuse himself from key cases, “such as the legal battle over Trump’s first travel ban executive order, because his law firm Jones Day represented parties in the dispute,” according to the Washington Post. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.