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Obama's solicitor general Donald Verrilli to step down

By Amy R. Connolly
Obama's solicitor general Donald Verrilli to step down
U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, who defended the Obama administration in landmark Supreme Court cases that included gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act, is stepping down in late June, the White House announced Thursday. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Justice.

WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, who defended the Obama administration in landmark Supreme Court cases that included gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act, is stepping down in late June, the White House announced Thursday.

Verrilli, 58, is ending his five-year tenure on June 24 as the administration's lead attorney at the high court. He will be replaced by his principal deputy, Ian Gershengorn.

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"Thanks to his efforts, 20 million more Americans now know the security of quality, affordable health care; we're combatting discrimination so that more women and minorities can own their piece of the American Dream; we've reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring that immigrants are treated fairly; and our children will now grow up in a country where everyone has the freedom to marry the person they love," President Barack Obama said in a written statement. "Don has been a dedicated public servant who has helped our nation live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. I am grateful for his trusted counsel and friendship."

Verrilli began working with the Obama administration in 2009 and was confirmed as solicitor general in 2011. Among his dozens of Supreme Court arguments, he defended a challenge to Obamacare, led the government's case in support of same-sex marriage and worked to block Arizona's immigration laws.

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"Through these and many other cases -- and through his thoughtful counsel and principled advocacy -- Don has built a legacy of inclusion, expanding opportunities and civil rights for all Americans and moving our country forward," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. "I could not be more proud to call him a colleague and a friend."

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