Laurence Silberman Goes to Washington

The most recent issue of The Green Bag contains an account by Judge Silberman of Nixon-era political intrigue in which he played a prominent role.  [PDF].  The article begins with this story of how he came to be Solicitor of the Department of Labor:

As a partner in the Hawaiian firm that handled virtually all the management labor law in Hawaii, I had argued successfully several cases against the [National Labor Relations] Board in the Ninth Circuit. I was also an open, if not notorious, Republican, so [the Board’s general counsel and deputy general counsel] thought I would add some desired “diversity.” Intrigued, I resigned my partnership at the end of 1967 and came back to Washington, expecting to stay a while at the Board. But the next year, when Nixon won the presidential election, I turned out to be a unique commodity. I was a Republican ex-partner in a management firm who had taken a neutral rinse. A prominent Washington lawyer had sent my name to the Hotel Pierre, where senior Nixon campaign officials were screening possibilities for appointments. When Shultz called me, I thought he was interested in perhaps a special assistant or a deputy general counsel. After all, I was only 33. But I had the dubious advantage of looking at least five years older, and so I was offered the post of Solicitor.

Laurence H. Silberman, The Development of “Final Offer Selection”, 15 Green Bag 2d 291 (2012)

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