To follow-up on Taz’s post earlier this week, several new sources including New York Magazine are reporting that President-elect Obama will soon tap Preeta Bansal as the United States Solicitor General:
Preeta Bansal, a Harvard-educated litigation partner at Skadden, is rumored to be President-elect Obamaâ€™s choice for solicitor general. That person argues the governmentâ€™s position at the Supreme Court (which will still be dominated by conservatives). â€œItâ€™s making the rounds in New Yorkâ€™s legal circles, absolutely,â€ says a former colleague of Bansalâ€™s. She was New Yorkâ€™s solicitor general under Eliot Spitzer and a counselor to thenâ€“assistant attorney general Joel Klein in the Clinton administration; she was an adviser to Obamaâ€™s campaign and now serves on the transition team. Sheâ€™d be the first woman and first Indian-American to hold the job. [Link]
p> Ravi and I wanted to interview Preeta at the DNC in Denver but we weren’t allowed to. There were certain folks who you could only interview with permission from Obama’s people. That’s how you knew they were likely to get a top spot in a possible future administration (or be a top bundler). If this turns out to be Obama’s pick it also will serve as a major nod to his Asian American supporters. We’ll then see if Bansal has what it takes to go ten rounds with the likes of Scalia and Roberts.
What I also want to know though is, what about Neal Katyal? Obama has said that shutting down the blight that is Guantanamo Bay is one of his top priorities. Why not give Katyal a leadership role in a possible commission to shut it down? From a recent PBS interview:
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, President-elect Obama, as we said, has said he will shut it down. Should he stick to the promise? And can he? What are the issues there?
NEAL KATYAL: Right. He should absolutely stick to the promise. I mean, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the defense secretary, Robert Gates, have both said that Guantanamo is now a net national security loss for the United States. So there’s a security reason to do it above and beyond the simple humanitarian one. [Link]
Oh hell, I’ll just come out and say what I’m really advocating for: Katyal for SCOTUS.